President Ford passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 26. A nation mourned him for a week. President Bush scheduled a "National Day of Mourning" for Tuesday, Jan. 2, when government services would be closed. President Bush said, "I call on the American people to assemble on that day in their respective places of worship, there to pay homage to the memory of President Ford."
Well, as the rabbi of a local Messianic congregation, I scheduled time to pay homage to the late president at Sabbath services. So now, government workers -- who already get a paid holiday almost every month -- got yet another day off, paid for by taxpayers, who now have one less day at the beginning of a month (after already losing Jan. 1) to get bills mailed and get business done with our government. And how many of these government workers are likely to use this day to commemorate President Ford? Few, I'd wager.
This ill-considered decision is emblematic of a government whose elected officials -- on both sides of the aisle -- make decisions to suit themselves, not serve the public. It's time our "leaders" remember they are our servants, not our masters.
Adam J. Bernay