It is certainly appropriate for Grand Forks to celebrate whoever the city chooses and not to celebrate Columbus. However much Columbus may be despised in some quarters, there is no getting around the fact that he was the first of the great European explorers such as da Gama, Magellan, Drake, Cook, Cortez, Balboa, de Coronado, Cabot and others who spread out over new territories in the Americas.
The courage and drive of these explorers under the circumstances they had to operate was amazing. Their ships were small and leaky; their diets severely circumscribed; they faced, and overcame, tremendous obstacles including armed attacks by ferocious natives.
So, give a little credit where credit is due.