Marking May

May – the month for peonies and remembering mom (May 10).

The merry month of May, which is Gifts From the Garden month, is filled with unusual celebrations like Garden Meditation Day (May 3), Wildflower Week (week two) and Pick a Strawberry Day (May 20).

Three dates, however, are uppermost in the general public’s minds this month. The first is Cinco de Mayo, which commemorates the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire on May 5, 1862 at the Battle of Puebla. It is a day of more significance for Americans than Mexicans, a celebration of Mexican-American culture and relationships since 1863, marked by Mexican foods and enough beer and guacamole to rival Super Bowl Sunday.

Though saluting motherhood goes back to ancient times, modern Mother’s Day was an early 20th-century initiative of American peace activist Anna Jarvis, who grew to regret its commercialism. This year, remember mom with a bouquet of peonies from the garden, a breakfast tea in bed and other simple tokens of your love on May 10.

Last May, WAG’s own Phil Hall told us how Georgia teacher-activist Moina Michael helped popularize wearing a poppy to remember soldiers fallen in World War I after she read Col. John McCrae’s poem “In Flanders Fields.” Remember our war dead May 25 by sporting a poppy – and reaching out to our veterans and active-duty servicemen and women.

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