Though Celebration of Life Day, which lands on January 22, was originally instituted to celebrate the children in our lives, it has come to signify all that’s good about being alive. It’s easy to forget sometimes, but we are all fortunate to be here. Take time to celebrate that the good far outweighs the bad in this life. It all starts with gratitude and appreciation for where you are right now, and wherever you hope your dreams take you. Every life is precious, individual, and a huge gift, so take a little extra time today to celebrate it.
Though Ronald Regan originally established the holiday to send an anti-abortion message, the Celebration of Life Day has come to be a day to celebrate both the lives of children and ourselves. Celebration of Life Day was originally called National Sanctity of Human Life Day and was proclaimed in January 1984 by Ronald Regan. At the time, President Regan chose to harken back to the landmark abortion case Roe v Wade by placing National Sanctity of Human Life Day on the 11-year anniversary of the decision on the case.
Anti-abortion groups championed the holiday and felt that it expressed their sentiments on the importance of human life at all stages. This belief has been echoed in Donald Trump’s statement on the day from 2019. Organizations who champion the right to choose, like Planned Parenthood, denounced the day as a way of limiting women’s rights to autonomy over their bodies.
The history of National Sanctity of Human Life/Celebration of Life Day has been rocky. Though both Bush presidencies continued the holiday, it was discontinued for eight years under President Bill Clinton. Donald Trump has continued the holiday throughout his presidency, as well, and some churches have even marked it as a holy day on their calendars. The holiday routinely falls on a Sunday for this religious reason, although only in 2018 Donald Trump proclaimed it be celebrated on a Monday.
Today, many view the Celebration of Life Day as a day to spend extra time with their nieces, nephews, children, grandchildren, or even just kids they babysit. Every human life is precious, and today is the day to remind ourselves we are all lucky to be here and lead the lives we do. Despite our individual and group challenges, there is always good to be found and gratitude to be shown – and what better day to find the positive than Celebration of Life Day?