Celebrate your own Cinco de Mayo

Published 11:54 pm Tuesday, May 5, 2009

May 5th. The fifth of May, also known as — Cinco de Mayo. Every year on that date, I think about what most people who celebrate Cinco de Mayo are thinking about: the Battle of Puebla.

That’s what Cinco de Mayo is all about, and while it’s fun just to party until your brains cave in, it’s also a fascinating story from the pages of history that any true-blue American should enjoy.

There is a Demopolis tie to Cinco de Mayo, too. Demopolis was founded in 1817 by exiled soldiers of the army of Napoleon I. It was his nephew, Napoleon III, who sent troops to Mexico in 1861 along with troops from Spain to collect debts owed by a previous Mexican government. Mexican president Benito Juarez had announced the annulment of these debts and vowed to pay nothing to Europe.

French forces advanced on Puebla, thinking the people there were friendly towards French folks, but were repelled by the Mexican forces there on May 5, 1862.

The French eventually took Puebla and much of Mexico, but that one day has been a national holiday in Mexico ever since.

Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of a victory, a win over a larger nation. It doesn’t matter that that nation came sweeping back in and won. It’s recognition for that one win.

Maybe we all need to have our own Cinco de Mayos. I gave $10 to a charity; I’ll treat myself to an ice cream. I helped someone today; I deserve a little reward.

Never overlook your own importance or the importance in what may seem mundane. It’s the little victories that keep us going and the small achievements that help make us who we are. Every little helping hand that we give, every small token of appreciation or friendship adds up to a great victory within us.

Celebrate yourself today. Have a taco salad and lift a chip in Mexico’s honor. It is their victory celebration that tells us that every day can be Cinco de Mayo.