Today we celebrate Columbus Day, the day Christopher Columbus discovered America. We all know the basic facts. He was actually trying to find a new western route to Asia in an effort to increase his own fortune and the wealth of Spain.
What you might not know, was that he was anything but a hero. He enslaved the indigenous people of the lands that he discovered, including this one. He killed hundreds, destroyed their way of life, forced them to convert to his religion and all but annihilated an entire race. That is not quite the education we receive in school when this topic is discussed.
Eventually, the King and Queen of Spain sent emissaries to force him to return home due to his extreme misconduct. This was just the beginning of our long history of violence in the taking of the New World.
I am glad to be here. I am grateful that we belong to a country where we enjoy so much personal freedom and opportunity. But lets not glorify how we got here. Or celebrate events that caused the destruction of others. We should remember as often as possible that freedom is never free, someone had to pay for it.