TRINITY, N.C. -- A petition to create a national holiday to honor the late Rev. Billy Graham was started by a man right here in the Piedmont Triad.
Kyle Siler says his grandfather was a Methodist preacher around Trinity for 40 years before he passed away last year.
“While cleaning out his belongings, we came across a lot of media for Mr. Graham,” Siler said. “He was a big fan of him. It was about this time Mr. Graham passed away, so we got to thinking about it. Do you know what would be neat? If he had a holiday to remember.”
Siler created a change.org petition.
“When I started it, I thought it could take off but not to this extent,” Siler said.
More than 100,000 people signed it in a week.
“Yesterday, I think it was about 1,000 signatures per hour, 10 signatures a minute sometimes,” Siler said.
Hundreds of people left comments on the petition page explaining why they think the late reverend deserves this honor.
One person wrote: “His life and legacy needs to be remembered for future generations.” Other people talked about the impact he made on their lives.
“It can bring you to tears,” Siler said. “It's got a lot of positive backing and it's amazing what people are saying about Mr. Graham.”
Not everyone thinks America’s pastor should have his own national holiday, there are counter petitions against the idea. One says there needs to be separation between church and state, no more holidays based on religion.
“They don't have near the signatures we do,” Siler said.
Even though Siler came up with this idea, in his heart he believes Graham would refuse the honor even though he deserves it.
“True men of God really don't want recognition,” Siler said. “I don't think he would want a holiday but for what he's done for our country, I think it is fitting for him.”
It’s also what Siler believes our country needs.
”If people could take a moment to look to the Lord for a day or a minute, that could help our country out tremendously,” Siler said.
The petition is addressed to President Donald Trump, the Senate, House and some North Carolina legislators.
FOX8 did reach out to see what Graham’s family thinks of the possibility of the late reverend having a national holiday. A representative told us they are not commenting at this time.