31 May 2010

A holiday by any other name

In Brevard, N.C., WSQL radio is broadcasting the news that most of us already know: That Memorial Day - this past weekend's holiday - is also known by another name.

Decoration Day? True. That's what this occasion for military honor was once called, in fact. But in North Carolina, the focus is on the white, when it comes to the red, white and blue. And the stars among the stripes are the real stars of the show: the state's white squirrels.

Memorial Day marks the 7th annual White Squirrel Festival, a celebration of all things related to the beloved pale rodentia.

Granted, it's not a particularly military theme. The most combative encounters are the 5K and 10K foot races, a white squirrel dance-off (featuring two-footed hoofers) and a box car derby. Not the stuff of which patriotism is crafted, for sure.

But as a celebration of one community's natural resources, and a reminder to treasure those things that make a town, a community, a state unique in its own right, it is a fitting reminder at the start of this season of outdoor living.

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