Today is when we celebrate Columbus Day in the USA, although much of the world celebrated it yesterday; it is part of the National Day commemoration in Spain, and is celebrated in many Hispanic countries as Día de la Raza.
Columbus Day, of course, commemorates the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, Admiral of the Ocean Sea (1451-1506). Americans are still allowed to remember Columbus, if they choose, but fear not, Columbus Day will no doubt disappear into the liberal memory-hole, or go the way of Washington's Birthday (folded into generic, anonymous, obnoxious "President's Day"), soon enough.
The great sailor's role in the American story was perhaps small, but certainly decisive. Legions of the politically correct despise the memory of Columbus, his voyages and his culture, never mind that many of them walk the streets spouting their nonsense only because the Admiral found San Salvador on 12 October 1492 (although it was clear he was near land on the 11th). The value of a man may often be gauged by the political enemies he has made; and the fact that so many of the Politically Correct dislike Columbus so much is quite enough reason to think that he must have been quite a splendid fellow.
Some say he was born in Genoa, others that he was born in Calvi, Corsica. If the latter, he was probably the most distinguished native of that island save Napoléon I. Son of a weaver, and already a distinguished sailor when he began his American voyage, Columbus hoped to find a practicable route to India, but he did better, and found a new world instead – and his discovery changed everything.
The European discovery of America was the biggest event in western civilization since the fall of Rome, and changed the whole world forever. The future existence of the United States was only one consequence of his voyages; made in barely seaworthy, leaky vessels, with abominable food and mutinous crews.
In recent years, Columbus has suffered from the slanders, slings and arrows of the stupid, the ignorant, and the outright malicious, and all of the other enemies of civilisation who gather under the soiled banners of leftism and “political correctness.” The memory and record of the Admiral are themselves ample defense from the insults of this mob, and Columbus' reputation will survive long after today's philistine lefties have crawled back under their rocks, and back into their midden-pits, to die.
Columbus’ nautical achievements, and the whole colonial experiment, were indubitably worth it. Columbus, and the other heroes of the colonization of the Americas need no special commemoration. If you seek their monuments, look around you. The riches of the Americas, in the short run, enabled Europe to prosper, maintain itself and expand in the face of challenges from Asia and the Islamic world. In the long run, the successful implantation of European colonies in the New World, particularly in North America, ensured that civilization came to these shores, and Europe’s American children, would, in due course, be a credit to all that was good in their parents.
Finally, thanks in some part to Columbus and his sailors, in the Old World’s darkest hour, Europe’s children of the New World were there to step forward to redeem the Old World from bondage and tyranny. No doubt Columbus, who sought a new route to Asia so that Europeans could carry on lawful commerce despite the Muslim blockade and harassment of Europe, would understand and sympathize with the struggles of the American soldiers of today, carrying the banners of America and civilization in Baghdad and Kabul in the struggle against the Islamo-fascist peril.
After Columbus’s initial voyage to America, he made three further trips to these shores, dying two years after the return from his fourth voyage. The authorities still argue whether he is buried in Seville (Spain), or in Santo Domingo. Here's to you Admiral, and to all your officers and sailors, for all you did.