May Days

The marvellous month of May is full of them.
It begins with May Day on the 1st, an ancient festival which is still marked in Europe and celebrates the arrival of flowers, and is also my birthday.
The 1st also became more recently known as Labour Day in Europe, to mark the beginning of workers rights and the advent of the 8-hour work day.
The 3rd is World Press Freedom Day. An important day in these newsworthy times.
Then there’s May the 4th (be with you), the unofficial Star Wars Day.
The popular Cinco de Mayo on the 5th of May celebrates a victory of the Mexican army over French forces back in 1862.
Ramadan also begins at sundown on May 5th this year, and heralds in a month of fasting, prayer, and reflection for the Muslim community.
The 8th is World Red Cross day and the 16th is National Life Jacket Day.
Mother’s Day is Sunday May 12th this year, when we celebrate and honour the people who brought us into this world, or who raised us.
Victoria Day on Monday the 20th is a Canadian holiday unofficially marking the start of Summer, but more officially celebrates the birthday of Queen Victoria, and also the current Queen Elizabeth II (although her real birthday is in April).
May 27th is Memorial Day in the U.S., a federal holiday honouring everyone who has died serving that country.
May 30th is Ascension Day, commemorating the thirty ninth day after Easter Sunday, and the belief that Jesus Christ entered into Heaven.
But the day that caught my eye this month is May 26th.
National Sorry Day.
At first I thought it was something of a joke.
And being Canadian, a country in which all the world believes we say “Sorry” all the time (it’s true, though), I thought it was just a well meaning jab.
But no.
It is something of a sad day which is marked in Australia.
An unofficial day commemorating the country’s wrongs which were inflicted against its Aboriginal people.
Sounds very familiar.
Australia, like other countries, seized Aboriginal children from their homes and families feeling they would do better raised among non-Aboriginals.
It is an unofficial day that the country of Australia has chosen to set aside to mark as an apology to its Aboriginal people for those wrongdoings.
Canada could take note.
We have apologized to our nation’s Aboriginal peoples many times over the years, for all the wrong doings we have inflicted.
Like residential schools, where the government similarly removed children from their homes and families in remote communities and felt they would do better in an institutionalized setting where they were often abused.
And given that we are a country where the word “Sorry” is used like “Please” and “Thank You”, a part of our every day use, it seems only fitting that we should perhaps have a National Sorry Day too.
Sorry, that’s just the way I feel.


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