Sanders: C’mon, lets celebrate
Americans seem to have this thing for commemorations, even if they are created out of thin air. There is “National Eat Your Jell-O Day” on July 12, not to be confused with “National Jell-O Week,” the second week of February and made official by the Utah Legislature in 2001. There are over 1,200 different reasons to celebrate throughout the year in the U.S.
Sometimes these conjured up observations grow legs and tentacles. Earth Day was established and promulgated by “environmentalists” supposedly to encourage taking care of the natural world around us. The Earth Day website complains about trees being cut down and not replaced, yet in our local areas it is groups like these “environmentalists” that continually stop progress. For example, the Black Hills have been inundated with pine beetles over the past several years. The trees are dead. They need to be removed or they will be exquisite tinder for forest fires. Once the trees are removed new ones can be planted. But the “environmentalists” sue and stop removal of dead trees.
Better to celebrate National Ag Week annually held in March and extoll the progress made by agricultural producers worldwide. In areas of increased productivity and conservation of water, just to name two, farmers and ranchers should be praised. Instead, they are vilified for raising crops that some “environmentalists” don’t understand and therefore don’t like.
Kwanza is another such creation that was started in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga. It runs from Dec. 26 through Jan. 1. The generations born after Kwanza was established may incorrectly believe it was a long-standing tradition.
For those of us of a certain age, we learned in school that Columbus discovered America. Over the past several years that has been challenged and even put into doubt. There are adamant adherents to both sides. As long as the discourse is peaceful, it is not a problem; it is when skirmishes erupt over ‘my side is right’ that it is not acceptable in civil society, which is what our country used to be.
In 1990, South Dakota’s Gov. George Mickleson appealed to legislature to re-designate Columbus Day to Native American Day, to pay homage to the Indians who were in the country before Columbus and to offer it as a day of reconciliation. It is the only state in the nation that made a change. The majority of the country recognizes Columbus Day with some celebrations turning into drunken brawls.
Perhaps the most puzzling is the U.S. observance of Cinco De Mayo, which is not Mexico’s Independence Day, as some believe. Instead it marks a battle between the French army and Mexican militia in the Battle of Puebla, Mexico, in 1862. It had nothing to do with the U.S., so why is it commemorated here? Though there are over 10 million French people living in the U.S., our country does not go all out for any French occasions.
Apparently Americans just like to celebrate, anything and everything, including St. Patrick’s Day when everyone seems to be just a little bit Irish.❖
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