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Bill would add 'Patriot's Day' as a state holiday

A bill pending in the state Senate would make the third Monday of April “Patriot’s Day” in North Dakota.

The bill’s sponsor -- Rep. Austen Schauer (R-West Fargo) told the Senate Government and Veterans Affairs Committee he introduced it because young people often don’t realize what happened at the birth of our nation. Schauer said he got the idea for the bill after reading about the Revolution to his grandchildren.

"And they just look at me and stare," Schauer told the Committee. "And I'm thinking, 'C'mon man --we have to teach these kids what it took for us to get here.' And if we don't do it as leaders, who's going to do it?"

A number of veterans and military groups spoke in favor of the measure.

"Young people can whiz through their smart phones and computers, and leave grandpa in the dust," said North Dakota Veterans' Legislative Committee chairman Jim Nelson. "Yet they do not understand why we say the Pledge to the flag, why we have certain laws, what is really in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and what is the role of the three branches of government. In short, just plain old civics."

The holiday would not require businesses, government or schools to be closed.

The House has already passed the bill.