Legislative Column for the Week of October 5, 2015
Celebrating Columbus Day

Since our days in elementary school, we have learned how Christopher Columbus set out on an extremely dangerous and adventurous voyage and as a result, discovered America. As we got older, we realized the great explorer never really “discovered” North America; instead, he landed in the Bahamas and later sailed on to Cuba and Haiti. Despite Columbus’ exact landing location, his exploration – along with his dedication and perseverance – is what we celebrate each year.

It is hard to imagine a time when one could be laughed at for saying the world is round, but in the fifteenth century, the belief that the world was flat was widely accepted. Columbus knew the world had to be a sphere and decided to prove it by risking his life to sail around the world. The journey was not easy, and after two months at sea, the crew began to worry and thought Columbus was wrong. They became sick and tired, and they tried to convince their captain to turn back to Spain. He was sure that the route his fleet was on would lead to land and encouraged his crew to continue. On October 11, at ten o’clock at night, a light was sighted in the distance and the next morning the ships landed on the island that is now Cuba.

Columbus’ success in finding the New World did not reward him with immediate fame or recognition. It took hundreds of years before celebrations of his discovery became popular. Now, Columbus Day is a national holiday because his discovery led to the founding of our great nation. Our country’s history is rich with hardship and triumph, and it all began with the perseverance of one Italian explorer.

When we celebrate Columbus Day, we are showing our appreciation for the sense of adventure and exploration that still exists in the world today. Another important lesson from Christopher Columbus is that when you have a dream, you have to be willing to truly dedicate yourself to it. Things might not always unfold the way we’d like, but it goes to show that some things are truly worth fighting for.

As always, I encourage my constituents to contact me throughout the year with comments, questions or suggestions by calling my office at (573) 751-5713. To find more information about the bills I sponsor, visit www.senate.mo.gov/brown. Thank you for reading this and for your participation in state government.