Monday, October 12, 2009

Guess It Depends Upon Where and When You Are .....

It's Columbus Day, honoring the man who - for better or worse, you decide - ushered in a new era in world history by opening up the Americas to European exploration.

Here is a good online resource from the History Channel, and another good resource from Wikipedia

Some government offices are closed, and some are not. Some school districts are giving students the day off, and others aren't. Some merchants are having a holiday sales event, and some are not.

I guess it depends upon where and when you are ... not just whether or not you mark the day, but how you mark it - as a day for celebration or lamentation. At one point or another over the thirty, forty years, we've seen it all.

I remember it being a bigger deal when I was growing up, especially when my dad was posted to the northeastern U.S. The day was a major source of pride for the Italian communities in our cities - like Pittston, P-A, for example.
(At right, is a photo of Pittston's statue honoring Columbus.)

And it still is a big deal ... though not on as broad a scale as it used to be. A lot of different ethnic and racial groups are offering different views - some embracing, some condemning - of the man, his accomplishments, and his day.

Me? I still raise a glass of vino in honor of the old explorer who never achieved his goal, found something else entirely, and mistook what it was he found ... pretty human, really ... but notable, nonetheless.

Congratulazioni, Christophoro Columbo!

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