Saturday, May 05, 2007

Cinco De WHAT?

It’s that time of year again when Americans celebrate a big Mexican holiday that’s not celebrated in Mexico. But you gotta admit, it was a brilliant marketing coup that we thought up, packaged and sold to a people who wanted something to celebrate their heritage. It also rings our cash registers, which was the whole idea in the first place.

No, it’s not a celebration of Mexican Independence Day. It notes a victory that was reversed a year later. It *is* celebrated where the battle was fought; ask people anywhere else in Mexico and you’re liable to get a blank stare.

We need our holidays. Those of Irish extraction need St. Patrick’s Day, so they can paint Main Street’s center line green (it’s done here), have a parade and get drunk. What that has to do with St. Patrick escapes me, but it’s how the Irish and non-Irish over here keep his memory.

We have Memorial Day, another meaningless holiday. Well, not exactly without meaning; it signifies the start of the summer vacation season. Memorial of what? Ask the first ten students you run into; ask the first ten adults, for that matter.

Everybody has a story.
Michael Stash died recently. He was on the battleship Iowa in 1989 when the Number Two 16” gun turret exploded, killing 47 crewmen. Michael was one of the rescuers and saved many lives. Accounts of this event indicate that those involved in the rescue attempts were heroes.


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