Feliz Cinco De Mayo!
It's fifth day of the fifth month of the fifth year (and the fifth day of the week) * of these wild 2000s, and the 143rd anniversary of the defeat of the 8,000 strong French Army of Napoleon III by just 4,000 Mexican troops protecting Independance. This rather sweet and sappy sight
outlines the story in a very happy, Pan-American way.
When I was a kid one of my favorite places to hang out was the Pasadena Public Library's
main branch on Walnut Street, which has a wonderful children's library that's almost bigger than many branch libraries around here. I still remember that one of the first books I ever checked out from there was a novelized biography of Carlotta, Empress of Mexico, whose husband's doom was first heralded on Cinco de Mayo. Despite myself, I'm still rather moved by accounts of his last minutes
: I forgive everybody. I pray that everybody may also forgive me, and my blood which is about to be shed will bring peace to Mexico. Long live Mexico! Long Live Independence!, he shouted in Spanish - the last words of the Austrian Archduke now so far from Vienna
It is a bit odd to have such a happy holiday which celebrates a battle, but I guess plenty of time has passed, so have a good fiesta!
*Since most of the Spanish I remember is from Sesame Street, I think it's fitting that I should now have stuck in my head the classic song "Give me 5! Oh give me 5! Give me 1,2,3,4 but if you love me more, Give me 5!"