Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
There used to be more holidays. Nowadays, we’re down to a few Sales Events. I miss holidays.
George Washington had his own birthday holiday. We gave Valentines to classmates, planted a tree in the yard on Arbor Day, and hung construction paper cones on doorknobs on May Basket Day.
The high school band marched in the Memorial Day parade. The school bell rang at 11:00 on Armistice Day as we sat silent for one minute. We knew who Squanto was and why he got invited to dinner by Pilgrims, the man carrying a musket while wearing a tall black hat with a shiny buckle on the front; the woman in a bonnet near a big, fat turkey. We put out our shoes for Saint Nicholas and sang familiar songs in the Christmas concert.
The musket violates the zero tolerance policy for guns. It’s unfair to celebrate one President’s birthday but not the others. Valentine was a Catholic saint, apartment dwellers have no yards to plant trees; parading on Main Street disrupts traffic and singing about a long-ago silent night converts schools into cathedrals.
We have cut ourselves off from our cultural traditions and wonder why our children have no sense of history, of belonging to a great nation, of pride in our culture. And I fear what happens to a people who have no sense of history, of belonging to a great nation, no culture.
The only mistake is to assume that this isn’t all according to plan.