For as long as I’ve known my husband, I’ve had to hip him to the legend of Cinco de Mayo. That’s okay. He’s not the only one who forgets year after year. Although we’re not Mexican-American, we live in a harmonious community of diversity where cultural pluralism is the norm. So it’s here on the westside in the City of Angels that I clink my beverage of choice to those courageous Mexicans who, on May 5, 1862, put their lives on the line to keep Napolean III’s French army from invading Mexico City. Though terribly outnumbered and ill-equipped, those 4,000 amazingly brave warriors were successful — at least for a year.
In America, Cinco de Mayo is a day to commemorate the courageousness of that small Mexican army whose only goal was to protect their homeland. It’s also a day for all of us to recognize the culture and experiences of those of Mexican ancestry.
One day out of the year, we have a solid reason to laugh, love and be merry about another culture’s victory. It’s also a time for us to share our own stories about that metaphoric skinny kid on the beach who finally stood up to the big bully. And it’s that type of historic effort that deserves celebration, the kind of story that needs to be told for generations to come.