May 062003
 
Authors: Ken Hamner

America is a great place to live, much better than Canada. Even the State Department agrees with this, as reported in their 2002 report on global terrorism, because Canada seems to not spend enough money on policing and has too much regard on civil liberties, or as the State Department put it, “Canadian laws and regulations intended to protect Canadian citizens and landed immigrants from government intrusion sometimes limit the depth of investigations.”

It’s a good thing we live in the United States, where there is a decreasing amount of civil liberties inhibiting investigations so that we can all feel safe and secure. It’s so good that President Bush is bringing back a magical, happy holiday to help us celebrate America even more. It’s called, “Loyalty Day.” Loyalty Day had its heyday back in the 1950s, when Americans were paranoid over those kooky Russians celebrating Communism. President Eisenhower proclaimed that there be a day we, as Americans, could say we were much cooler than other governments and celebrate how loyal we were to Mother America.

Coincidently, this day fell on May 1, May Day, a day other nations used to celebrate the working class, a day of solidarity between workers of all nationalities. By having Loyalty Day on May Day, all Americans could feel good about themselves and the United States while forgetting about those psychotic Commies. Unfortunately, people kind of forgot about Loyalty Day, at least until last April.

President Bush, in his infinite wisdom, has realized that days like July 4th, Veterans Day and Memorial Day quite simply aren’t enough for us to remember “loyal Americans,” and we need a special day to prove how much we dedicate our hearts and souls to the United States. But why has he decided to reinstate the old Loyalty Day in May, particularly since Memorial Day falls in the same month? Do we need a double-dose of patriotism in one month? Evidently so. According to President Bush, we need a special day completely dedicated to people who have demonstrated, “their commitment to our country through service and sacrifice. These individuals serve as a model for all Americans.”

Are there other reasons, though, why Bush decided to bring back Loyalty Day on May 1? Perhaps he simply likes the word, “Mayday,” the word used for international distress. But what, pray tell, is this distress? Can it be that George Bush was secretly shouting, “Mayday! Mayday! The United States is going down!” in the Oval Office and the term caught on?

Or, perhaps, President Bush is distressed that the almost religious zeal of patriotism Americans had after Sept. 11 is waning almost to the point of apathy, particularly after we squashed Iraq under the boot-heel of American Justice without so much as breaking a sweat. By bringing back Loyalty Day, the President is giving all Americans the perfect opportunity to demonstrate their loyalty in public. The alternative, of course is to not openly celebrate Loyalty Day and thus prove you are disloyal. That would be a terrible thing, almost even Canadian!

I, for one, am very happy that we have a new holiday to celebrate, because that means we can forge new traditions for generations to come. After all, Easter has eggs and the bunny, July 4 has its fireworks and Valentine’s Day has its congealed glue and chalk dust candy hearts, so it is easy to see why it is necessary for Loyalty Day to have its own symbols and traditions.

While opinions certainly may vary, I know the kind of traditions I’d like to see. Every holiday has its distinctive food, so I say down with Freedom Fries on Loyalty Day and bring on the blood sausage – we’ve proved blood sausage is the way to go time and again in Afghanistan and Iraq (let’s forget, for the moment, Thomas Jefferson’s line, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants”) and I’m sure we’ll prove it elsewhere. For a cuddly animal mascot, I say there is nothing more American than a loyal German Shepard, particularly the police-dog kind.

Think of the stuffed animal sales! How about other traditional presents? I say every household should be forced to give their neighbors an American flag, be it in the form of an actual flag, a cake with stars and stripes or a tattoo. I’m sure all the children of the land will be counting off the days on their calendar for months, not being able to wait for those gifts! How proud will they be to teach these traditions to their own children, a day to celebrate the freedoms of America by having a day to prove our loyalty to it – or else.

Ken would like to thank KAG, Sam Jooky and the Festivus newsgroup for ideas throughout the semester, as well as everyone who wrote comments.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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