Wednesday, September 16, 2015

EXTRA: Are you already celebrated-out by Mexico’s Independence Day

It was intriguing to see Gov. Bruce Rauner’s public schedule for Tuesday – one event, an evening appearance in Chicago's Harrison Park for an “El Grito” celebration.

RAUNER: Gave face-time to Mexico independence
I’m sure many who might otherwise have paid attention took a look at the evening hour (9 p.m., to be exact) and figured it was worth ignoring. Too late to make the evening news!

YET TO ME, the problem with taking the event seriously was that it wasn’t late enough.

For an El Grito event (as in one that replicates the cry for independence given by Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla on Sept. 16, 1810) with any authenticity would have taken place at midnight.

For that is when the priest interested in Mexican independence from Spain supposedly went to the church-top in Dolores, rang the bells and made his inspirational cry that made the Mexican people begin what became a 12-year fight to achieve status as a separate country – and not just a colony of Spain. By comparison, the British meekly gave up their North American colonies after just a six-year brawl.

If you need a U.S. historic analogy to put this into context, think of Paul Revere and his “Midnight Ride” that supposedly warned English colonists and motivated them to want to fight for independence from King George III of England.

IN FACT, IF you’re in Mexico right about when this is being published, the fireworks are exploding all across the country in a way that would rival any July 4 Independence Day celebration. The mood would be equally patriotic. One of my Facebook friends who is in Mexico City now called the event "truly inspirational."

And it certainly would be more sincere than any May 5 celebration in the United States that too many Anglos mistake for an Independence Day celebration for Mexico.

Mexico Independence Day in Chicago won't match this scale
It was actually the beginning of a fight to keep Mexico from being recolonized by France. But that’s a different story.

Although any local celebration on Wednesday is likely to be tampered by the fact that all the parades honoring Mexico Independence Day locally were held on Sunday. Got to keep it from interfering with people’s ability to go to work.


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