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Columbus Day is observed in the United States on the second Monday every October. It commemorates Christopher Columbus and his journey to what was then known as the New World.
He arrived in the Americas on October 12, 1492. The holiday has become more controversial in recent decades thanks to the growing awareness of the plight of the indigenous peoples. The native people were affected by Columbus’ discovery, the following European migration, and conflicts that arose from that migration.
The U.S. Military and Columbus Day
Unlike more military-centered holidays like the 4th of July or Memorial Day, it may be hard to find formal, official celebrations of this holiday outside of training holidays. For example, the Army makes Columbus Day weekend a four-day holiday.
But many Department of Defense Dependent Schools or local military installations may have small observances, many for education-based reasons. The alternatives to Columbus Day such as Indigenous Peoples Day actually have more organization and visibility in more formal ways in some communities.
Columbus Day in America is more of a symbolic holiday to some by representing the dawn of the story of the United States. Others hope that this concept will eventually be joined with a more realistic or objective view of the history behind the legend of 1492.