Columbus almost didn't live long enough to make his famous voyages. Following his initial seamanship on Mediterranean routes, he nearly lost his life on his first Atlantic vessel when it was attacked by French marauders and he escaped into the choppy ocean, surviving only by swimming ashore to Portugal. Although born and raised in Genoa, Italy, he thereafter made Portugal his home.
All of his three cross ocean journeys were potentially subject to danger. Just think about it; putting a crew on board a seventy foot vessel, crowded together for a one way trip of two months or more. They were subject to the whims of the weather and the hardships that such a course would insure.
He also had to find funding for his trips, not a simple matter. He approached Portuguese, Italian and Spanish state leaders for funding of a trans-Atlantic excursion, being turned down on multiple occasions until Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain finally saw the value to his plans. And, of course, his most famous journey was conducted with his three ships, the Pinta, the Nina and the Santa Maria reaching the now Bahama Islands on October 12, 1492 and thinking they were nearing the Far East. When he first landed on Cuba three months later he mistook the Island for China and he thought Hispaniola was Japan. But they quickly realized they had found a different place, a rich land which quickly became a part of the world for which the European kingdoms would compete vigorously for primacy.
They had discovered the Americas, previously thinking that sailing west across the Atlantic would take them directly to China. In addition to not expecting America, they had no idea of the existence of the Pacific Ocean as well. So his trips were a huge advancement to a real understanding of the earth that at that time seemed much larger than it does today.
Many different nationalities yearned for a new life in the New World as man's quest for adventure and exploration continued. But rather than call this a travesty as so many preaching political correctness do today, I call it history since that is exactly what it was. Accordingly, I continue to call the day of his arrival Columbus Day, not Indigenous Peoples Day as some such as those in Seattle call it. Remember, the American Indians also came from another land, trekking across the land bridge to Alaska from Siberia thousands of years prior.
The founding of America by many different peoples was fraught with errors and mistakes by all comers and most likely they wished that things had been handled differently after the fact. But through history travesties have always been noted since man is a mere mortal sinner. Yet from that beginning, America arose to be the best place on earth to live, a blend of many different cultures.
Sadly today, with political correctness and illogical policies such as open borders and loss of many freedoms, we are on the verge of losing that something special. So on this Columbus Day, a day designed to commemorate the drive and ambition of one European sailor and upon whom the drive for America began, let's strive to make sure that the special nature and spirit of this land endures. Focus on the good of America, not her mistakes, and with God's help we will keep her free. And to all you arm chair professors out there, why not try to emulate the trip made by Columbus and see how you'd make it. I suspect you'd be calling for help in just a few short days if you lasted that long.
Happy Columbus Day, everyone and may God continue to bless the United States of America. We, in turn, need to return our devotion to Him if we want to continue with His grace.