October 12, Columbus Day, is a national holiday. For most Americans, it's a day off from school or work. Many communities observe this day with parades and pageants depicting Columbus as a hero, with smiling Indians and brave sailors, with out really knowing what began to happen on that day 500 years ago. Until recently history text books portrayed Columbus as great explorer who discovered the new world. Now we are presented with history that is much closer to the truth. Columbus had an appetite for gold and the possession of land at any cost. This great hero is responsible for the deaths of millions of indigenous people and taking ninety-five percent of their land. This holiday is set aside to honor the man who caused this genocide.
What are we supposed to celebrate when it is discovered that the hero of the day is really a monster, not unlike Adolph Hitler? This holiday should no longer commemorate the life of Christopher Columbus. Rather than celebrating genocide we should remember the millions of early Americans that lost their lives. Now that more of the truth has been revealed to this generation, it would be possible to change the objective of October twelfth to a memorial day for the first Americans.
There are theories that support the evidence of other explores that discovered America five hundred years before Columbus. Leif Eriksson, a young Viking was thought to have landed in America in 1000 and named it Vinland. Other research indicates that the Muslims crossed the Atlantic Ocean and discovered America in 1150. .
There is even a record of Chinese settlers in America as early as 499 A.D. by a Buddhist priest called Hwui Shin. With this information, why is Christopher Columbus considered the first man to discover America and why is there a holiday in his name?.
Other American holidays, such as Presidents Day and Independence Day honor and remind Americans of the values on which this country was built.