I suggest that we celebrate people for their accomplishments, not their failings. To do otherwise would leave us few role models.

George Washington held together the Continental Army for eight years against what was arguably the greatest military and naval power on Earth.

Washington not only led the United States to victory at Yorktown, he led the United States to establish its Constitution, and he founded the principle of limiting the president to two full terms in office. How many of us would show such restraint?

The fact that he did what was lawful to do, even if the law was detestable, does not make him unfit to serve as a role model. John Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. and many others would all be unfit to be remembered as heroes if the test was not the good they did but simply a standard of being innocent of doing bad things.

Washington state should remain our first president’s namesake. Perfection is the realm of the divine. We humans aspire to perfection and struggle to reach it, but should we damn and forsake all who suffer any failure? If we do, we will have no heroes, only villains and victims.

Rob Gudmundson, Bainbridge Island