Now, I understand why it is important to trust and respect these institutions and figures. We have to believe in something, since much else in American history is now revealed to be quite embarrassing in the eyes of the whole world. But can the answers to my wonderment about the American President’s Day really be found in the Constitution? Or the politics of the Founding Fathers? The same men who thought and asserted they could uphold E Pluribus Unum while holding and fathering slaves?
I wandered, literally, up and down the bruited and brutal ‘Oregon Trail’ which so many nineteenth-century Americans eager (or greedy) for a ‘better life,’ for the ‘American Dream’ set out on, in unbelievably rickety wagons, with children, wives, cattle, guns, food, elders (most in small quantities, except sometimes children) for the Pacific West and Northwest.