Tens of thousands of Americans have signed a petition calling for a national holiday in honor of the late evangelist Billy Graham.
The Change.org petition, which was created by a man named Kyle Siler, explains Graham’s contributions to the Christian world as well as his relationships with past U.S. presidents, making the case that his influence warrants such an honor.
“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,” the petition description reads.
The text continues:
“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.”
As of Monday morning, Siler’s plea to President Donald Trump, the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and some senators had already attracted more than 64,500 signatures.
Graham, who died on Feb. 21, was buried on Friday next to his wife at The Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina.
It’s unclear how seriously Siler’s proposal will be considered by the nation’s top politicians, though it wouldn’t be the first time that Graham was honored in such a rare and memorable way.
In fact, the evangelist was only the fourth private citizen in U.S. history to lie in honor at the Capitol Rotunda — a gesture that was made so that the public could pay their last respects to a man beloved by millions.
One special note, though: Only Congress can declare a national holiday, so while Trump might be a helpful advocate, he isn’t the person who would have the power to make the final decision on the matter.
Read more about Billy Graham’s incredible life and ministry here.