The debate rages on as to the importance of Columbus. Many like to point out his human rights violations as to why he should not be remembered, and others point that he was merely lost, even more say how can you discover a people who were never lost to begin with?
First it is important to understand that as men went of that period, he was no better, or worse than anyone else, but he was driven. Despite the fact he was indeed lost, he discovered something which would shape the world, that in and of itself is pretty damn cool.
The argument that he discovered America by accident therefore it should not count holds absolutely no merit at all, most good things are discovered by accident and if that was the case then little would be awarded to anyone.
Natives are among the loudest against him, and like to point out that they were here first, but who is they?
We accept that yes they marched across frozen water and here they stand, yet there are many other theories how to other previous cultures have been here, so are they too ignored?
I think so long as the Natives have their hand out, they really have no say, and lets face it, despite their hatred of the Spanish, could you Imagine a picture of a native not mounted on a horse that would never have been here if it was not for the Spanish conquerors?
I honestly struggle with their hatred, my wife is a Pacific Islander and they readily welcome their spanish heritage, as well as their own, that is a good example of how all of us should be.
So if we go on that guideline, many say well the Vikings were here before columbus! well that is true, as were the Polynesians, and arguably the Chinese in their junks and who knows who else. What matters is what culture influenced its will and started the immigration to this area, and that award clearly goes to the Spanish.
History is sadly written by the winners, and our history, like it or not, is a part of that conquest.
So I say lets hold on with the crucifying of the man, and lets remember why the day truly is here, to honor a new way of life that would lead to our own, for better or for worse, it is our history and should not be forgotten.