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Online Petition Calls For National Holiday To Honor Late Rev. Billy Graham

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

More than 39,000 people have signed an online petition asking for a national holiday to be created in honor of the late Rev. Billy Graham. Graham passed away at 99 on Feb. 21 in his family home in Montreat, North Carolina.

The petition, which has been active for six days, lists a goal of 50,000 signatures and will be sent to President Donald Trump, Congress, individually to U.S. Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr, and State Senate Majority Whip Jerry Tillman, of Moore and Randloph, North Carolina.

In the petition’s comment section, signees call Graham a “godly man” and a “big part of history.” One supporter attributes Graham’s “impact on millions all over the world” as the reason behind his support of the national holiday.

The creator of the petition lists his name as Kyle Siler, but no other information was provided. He references Graham’s worldwide multi-media ministry and his spiritual guidance to presidents in a statement on the petition’s main page.

“Mr. Graham preached the Gospel to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history—nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories—through various meetings, including Mission World and Global Mission. Hundreds of millions more have been reached through television, video, film, and webcasts. Mr. Graham’s counsel was sought by presidents, and his appeal in both the secular and religious arenas is evidenced by the wide range of groups that have honored him, including numerous honorary doctorates from many institutions in the U.S. and abroad. Help us with our cause of setting a national holiday to remember this great man.”

Graham was laid to rest beside his wife, Ruth Bell Graham, on the grounds of the Billy Graham Library on Feb. 2. Among those in attendance were President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.

As of 8 p.m. Sunday, the petition had close to 49,700 signatures - only a few hundred away from the 50,000-signature goal. 

Jessa O’Connor was an assistant digital news editor and Sunday reporter for WFAE.