September 8th Pardon Day

Today is Pardon Day, the day we need to forgive and forget. September 8th was selected because it was the day that Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon for his crimes (Real or imagined). His crimes seem very minor compared to what has followed, but then… they weren’t any better before him either. It seems like all we ever do is pardon those who lead us as a nation.

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However, if you really look at it closely, we all have something to be forgiven of. Some, naturally, worse than others but none of us can escape blame for something. And then we all know people that have done something to us that we find hard to forgive. We should though, because hanging on to that anger and rage does no one any good.

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Most of us realize that the only one who can truly forgive us is God. If you don’t believe in God then you really have no one to answer to. For some, that may be a good thing but for most of us, it keeps us in check and causes us to forgive as well. Remember, to forgive is divine.

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We pardon that mess in a grocery store, we pardon our pets (hopefully) for the accidents our pets have so why do we find it so hard to pardon each other? Maybe it’s because we should know better but we don’t. Anyone can make a mistake, sometimes big mistakes, but the sooner we get over them the sooner they can get over them.

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So pardon all those who have wronged you, or you believe have wronged you. It does no good to hold that grudge. It only makes you feel worse, and the person you view as an enemy.

How to celebrate – Call someone you have been mad at for a long time and begin to make amends. Think up all those you have committed some offense to and ask for their forgiveness. See if you can find any reason to agree with someone who holds a different opinion than you.

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September 23rd National Checkers and Dogs in Politics Day

You think we have weird politics today? Well, it’s always been weird. On September 23rd, 1953 Richard Nixon, then running for Vice-President, was charged with taking improper gifts from those supporting him by giving him valuable items in exchange for his expenses while running for office.

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He gave what is now known as the “Checkers Speech” on that date, announcing he was returning everything given to him except a black and white dog named Checkers. He went onto television and gave the speech, lasting a half-hour, saying he was returning everything except for Checkers since his children so loved the dog.  I think Nixon did too.

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After the speech, 60 million Americans supported his actions and Nixon kept Checkers.  He was also elected, with Ike Eisenhower as President, to the position of Vice-President. Well, years later Nixon would prove to be a criminal and was the only President actually to resign his position as President of the United States. With all the mistakes he made, probably none worse than any of the other Presidents we have had, at least he proved his devotion to a dog, making him a decent person in my book.

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If he was willing to give up his chance at being Vice-President to keep his dog, it speaks well to me.

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Well Checkers did eventually die. They buried him, created a grave marker, and have seen to it that it is kept up. For a President that lost everyone’s respect for getting caught at something they all do at least he had a friend, a true friend, not one that even politics could separate him from.

How to celebrate – Give your pet an extra hug or kiss tonight. Read about Nixon and Checkers. Play a game of Checkers in Checkers memory.