The Internaional Day of Happiness is March 20, followed by International Poetry Day and International Mother Earth Day. International Friendship Day falls in July, unless you’re as alienated as I am already by all this pseudo-compassionate Hoopla. There are over 100 such Observance Days which are the province of the UN’s General Assembly. Not counting multiple day observances! That leaves us 264 possibilities, assuming you don’t have the chutzpah to take over New Years Day.
What to do, as our globe painfully inflicted with honest to God mayhem on all the continents but Antartica, where’s it’s ordinarily too cold to feel huffy. Perhaps we should mock the Phlegmatically-Declined. This cloying habit perhaps derives from Saints Daze. Faithless as I’ve become, I still wear something Green on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. Though I have no idea what I would wear if my Christian name were Joseph, whose day is March 19. But surely there must be, in our increasingly technological civilization, better ways of alerting the half asleep billions.
In the Thanksgiving edition of my favorite newspaper reminder of what’s going on in my ex-country—USA TODAY. (November 23-25, p.7A): Alcestis “Cooky” Oberg’s beguiling essay on what her family found when they recently returned to the village of her greatgrandmother in Greece. (Sadly, they never found her grave, she having been too poor two centuries ago to afford one: that’s why her greatgrandchildren had indeed moved to America, for which they’re now understandingly grateful in their life in Houston, TX.)
But even more impressive of the Thanksgiving spirit was the inspiring story("Boys find rightful owner of war medals”, p.4A.) Michael Mazzariello (11) and his brother Mauro (8), these two New York boys talked an antique dealer in Newburg, N.Y. into letting them have a $450 cache of Army medals so they could find their owner. They searched for the owner until they found a YouTube honoring one Pfc. Charles George after whom a VA Hospital in Asheville,N.C. was named in 2007.
George,20, had been killed on November 29,1952 in the Korean War when he threw himself on a hand grenade to save his mates. They looked up Warren Dupree, a Veterans of Foreign War officer, who had been on the YouTube.” It is only now,” said Mauro proudly , "that Michael and I can rest knowing the tribal leaders and family of Charles George have in possession the medals that belong to them,” (Cherokee (N.C.) One Feather newspaper). Charles’ Cherokee parents still don’t speak English, but they were mighty proud of the boys who found them, the proper owners of the lost Medal of Honor and Purple Heart.
Those two Thanksgiving stories in USA TODAY were better than the turkey, cranberries, and pumpkin pie we didn’t have this year in Weimar, Germany. For I have a special eye tracking this newspaper since it began in September, 1982, the very week I chucked my full professorship to become a cub global reporter.
The press establishment then mocked the innovative newspaper, just as my academic colleagues thought I was nuts for throwing away a career. Looking back these thirty years, I couldn’t be more satisfied that I had created a new media niche for humanists to follow. Not just for a one day of seriousness, but for 365 days a year, of intellectual satisfaction.