WASHINGTON — If you were engaged in the pomp and circumstance of the presidential inauguration, you might have missed this: President Donald Trump has declared that day a national day of patriotism.
Paperwork was filed Monday to make Jan. 20, 2017, the “National Day of Patriotic Devotion.”
Trump addressed the idea of patriotism in his inaugural address Friday, saying it would help heal a divided America.
“When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice,” Trump said.
The order Trump filed emphasizes “national pride,” the concept of freedom and “a common destiny and a shared purpose.”
“Now, therefore, I, Donald J. Trump, president of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Jan. 20, 2017, as National Day of Patriotic Devotion, in order to strengthen our bonds to each other and to our country — and to renew the duties of government to the people,” the order says.
Proclamations like Trump’s are not new. President Barack Obama proclaimed the day of his first inauguration in 2009 a “National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation,” and annually declared Sept. 11 to be “Patriot Day.”
But the last time a day of “Patriotic Devotion” in particular was declared was when Woodrow Wilson decided to mark the day he enacted a draft for World War I.
The declaration was one of Trump’s first actions as president. It’s not yet clear if the day will be deemed a national holiday.
Presidents can declare a one-time holiday through executive order, but only Congress holds the power to create annual federal holidays, according to CNBC reporting. And most presidential proclamations are made before the day arrives, not after. However, Trump had to wait to be sworn in to declare this date a holiday.