October 11, annually, is Coming Out Day a time for all gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer (GLBTQ) people to open the closet (secret hiding place) door and step out into the world as a proud member of the GLBTQ community. National Coming Out Day is observed on October 11, in the USA and is also celebrated on October 12, in other countries throughout the world. The term “coming out” is used when persons who are GLBTQ take the steps to let others know of their sexual orientation.
The second Monday of every October is the observed Columbus Day Federal holiday in the USA. It is a national (federal) day set aside to honor Christopher Columbus and the beginning of the colonization of the Americas, both North and South. It is commemorated in some of the individual states in the USA and disregarded in others. It is a controversial observance in that originally it credited Columbus with “discovering” the “New World” when, in fact, all he did was introduce the indigenous populations to exploitation, greed, disease, famine, oppression and theft.
This day, Monday, September 3, is a public holiday in the USA honoring all laborers, no matter what their profession, and the jobs that they perform. The above image is of a landscaper performing his task. Sadly, it is also the final public holiday of the summer season. In just three weeks, the Northern Hemisphere will transition from summer into autumn and the Southern Hemisphere embarks on the arrival of their springtime.
As I sit here in front of my laptop I am trying, yes, sincerely trying, to find something uplifting and flag-waving to post about today’s USA holiday. Unfortunately, I’m just not able to find any type of inspirational reason to wave a flag. Since the last national election, I’ve found it easier to be be embarrassed and humiliated over living in this country than I’ve found ever in my entire life. Yes, I was born here, but to Greek parents. And my parents legally migrated here after World War II but upon my father’s retirement, returned to their homeland, Greece.
One doesn’t necessarily have to be Canadian to celebrate Dominion of Canada Day. This international day honoring the maple leaf (the leaf silhouetted on the flag) is open and welcoming to everyone (unlike its neighbor to the south). This observance commemorates the enactment of the British North America Act on July 1, 1867, which officially united the colonies of Canada (then just Ontario and Quebec), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick into the larger, autonomous Dominion of Canada. It is celebrated as the national holiday of Canada (although with today being Sunday, tomorrow is also a holiday).
Today, Monday, May 28, is the Memorial Day holiday in the USA. It is observed on the last Monday in the month of May, annually. This is the day designated by the U. S. legislature to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice – their lives – in the service of their country. This custom originated in 1868 as Decoration Day, as people decorated the graves of those who died in the U. S. Civil War with miniature flags and flowers. As the deceased were often buried hundreds of miles from their homes and families, local residents visited the cemeteries on behalf of families unable to do so.
This upcoming Sunday, May 13, is Mother’s Day in the USA. It is a date, always the second Sunday in May, that is set aside for celebrating and honoring mothers and the job that they do. In this country, the date was designated through a proclamation issued by then-president Woodrow Wilson in 1914. It has been the same date ever since, the second Sunday in May. The occasion is not limited to just the USA. The date may be different but almost every country has a day for honoring mothers and motherhood.