Our nation is obsessed with “national days.”
We have dozens of official “National Days.” That is days declared by an act of Congress or by presidential proclamation to commemorate, support or honor deserving people, issues, causes, etc.
However, there are hundreds of other “national days” intended to highlight, promote or otherwise celebrate almost anyone and anything.
National Day Calendar® claims to be “the authoritative source for fun, unusual and unique National Days” and and encourages all to “celebrate your favorite mail carrier and flip flops, share your joy for bacon and chocolate cake or pop some corn on National Popcorn Day…”
For the month of March alone, National Day Calendar lists approximately 200 national days including National Dadgum That’s Good Day, National Pig Day, National I Want You to be Happy Day, National White Chocolate Cheesecake Day, National Get Over it Day, National Napping Day, National Blame Someone Else Day, National Let’s Laugh Day, National Peanut Cluster Day, National Pencil Day…
But also some more serious national days, such as World Teen Mental Wellness Day, International Women’s Day, National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, National Freedom of Information Day, National Medal of Honor Day, National Vietnam War Veterans Day.
One of the last “national days” in March, March 30, just happens to be National Doctors Day, a day to recognize and honor the contributions and sacrifices made by physicians to individual lives, community, nation and the world.
“Doctors Day” was first observed in 1933 in Winder, Georgia, and continued to be unofficially celebrated until 1958 when the U.S. House of Representatives adopted a resolution that commemorates Doctors’ Day and on October 30, 1990, George W. Bush signed the legislature after approval from both the House and the Senate.
Today, during the coronavirus pandemic, in view of the enormous sacrifices doctors (and all medical personnel and first responders) are making throughout the world —in Italy alone, 61 doctors who caught the coronavirus have died — more than ever they deserve our thanks, our support and our prayers.
National leaders and citizens alike are expressing their thanks to these heroes in official messages, editorials, tweets, letters to the editor, etc.
New York Governor Andre Cuomo, whose state is being devastated by the virus and where, in New York City, the coronavirus pandemic “… is beginning to take a toll on those who are most needed to combat it: the doctors, nurses and other workers at hospitals and clinics,” has this message for them:
To each and every doctor putting his or her life at risk to save the lives of others, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You are the unwavering front line soldiers, angels and heroes in this war. You make New York proud.
Confronted with the escalating coronavirus pandemic, dedicated and heroic physicians, clad in protective gear and probably operating on few hours of sleep, are serving bravely on the front lines of the nation’s fight against an invisible but virulent enemy. As we find our way through the thicket of this unprecedented modern-day medical crisis, let’s remember to pray for our nation’s doctors. Why not drop your physician a note today and let him or her know how much you appreciate them?
Over at Forbes, on the occasion of National Doctors Day, health team reporters “reached out to 15 doctors, ranging from pediatricians to pulmonologists to primary care physicians, across the country, all of whom have leadership roles in their positions and are dealing with the pandemic in different ways” and “turned the floor over to them.”
Read their stories here, and let us give thanks to the doctors, the nurses, the thousands of other medical personnel and first responders who are answering the call without regard to the risks to themselves.
The author is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a writer.