November is a month for remembrance. The first day of November marks All Saints Day for members of the Christian faith while the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muerto) is a celebration that takes place from Oct. 31 – Nov. 2 in Mexico. This Mexican holiday honors and commemorates loved ones who have died. Rather than a solemn occasion, it is treated more as a festival with an emphasis on fun.
November 11, Veteran’s Day (a US federal holiday), is a day set aside to thank and honor all people who have served in the military honorably in wartime as well as times of peace. It is especially a time to honor those veterans who are still living. Other countries also set aside days to honor their military veterans. Canada and Australia also use November 11 but have designated it as “Remembrance Day” while Great Britain celebrates “Remembrance Day” on the Sunday occurring closest to November 11. The significance of November 11, worldwide, is that it marks the anniversary of the armistice agreement that ended World War I. US federal government offices will be closed on Monday, November 12 due to the fact that Veteran’s Day occurs on Sunday.
This year the anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination and Thanksgiving fall on the same day, November 22. John F. Kennedy was the youngest man ever elected to be the President of the United States and also the youngest to die while in office. Many people alive at the time remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news that he had been assassinated. A well-known quote and challenge were offered by JFK in his inaugural address on January 20, 1961, “And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”
On a lighter note, in preparation for Thanksgiving meal leftovers, November 15 is slated as “National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day”. Thanksgiving brings to mind food (especially turkey), family and football. It is a day traditionally set aside to reflect on the blessings of the past year and remember the sacrifices made by the first European settlers of America. Football has also become part of the Thanksgiving tradition for many people in the US. In NFL football action, the Indianapolis Colts, Super Bowl Champions, will be playing at Atlanta on Thanksgiving Day. As of Week 7, the Indianapolis Colts remain undefeated.
For those who love to shop, the day after Thanksgiving (also known as Black Friday) is the busiest shopping day of the year for the United States and kicks off the official holiday shopping season.
Also, at this time of year, basketball lovers begin to anticipate the beginning of the college and high school basketball seasons. Recent news headlines called attention to the fact that some people even look forward to the first official practice of the season. The University of Kentucky Wildcats hired a new coach, Billy Gillispie, this year. As an indication of the excitement this generated, the first official practice of the season drew 23, 313 fans to Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky.
So, no matter what your sport – football, basketball, shopping, or eating turkey – November is your month!
Additional resources for November: