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May 22, 2015     Post-Gazette
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May 22, 2015

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Page 4 POST-GAZETTE, MAY 22, 2015 The Sweet Days of Early Summer / by Ally Di Censo Symynkywicz The lovely, luxurious days cial start of summer, when  ..... -t of summer are so close that people emerge to take their by Sal Gzarratanz I can take a bite out of them, sweet as a straw- berry pie melting in my mouth. Puffy white clouds dot a perfectly azure sky, rimmed by the trees of a now glorious deep green. Warm days enable me to step out in flowing sun- dresses and no jackets, rel- ishing the glow of the bright afternoon light. The other day, I caught a whiff of sunscreen emanating from the patio outside my school, and that scent immediately transported me to the beach, to the feeling of sand caress- ing my feet and the sharp cry of seagulls. There is perhaps no other season as exhila- rating, as carefree, and as vivacious as summer. When the sunlight goes on well into the evening and the school year begins to wind down, I am grasped with the desire for celebration, for whirlwind excursions in na- ture. Indeed, it seems as if the whole world is gearing up for a feast once the summer commences. This weekend, for example, offers two im- portant summer festivals .with their own unique cus- toms and significance. Pen- tecost is a religious holiday celebrated with many folk- loristic traditions. Mean- while, Memorial Day consti- tutes a national remem- brance that also opens the season. Both of these holi- days encourage us to wel- come the beauty of summer with love and open hearts. Italians will be celebrating the holiday of Pentecost this Sunday, May 24 th. This im- portant Christian feast oc- curs on the seventh Sunday after Easter and honors the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus' disciples. It also closes the fifty-deed Easter period -- in fact, the name "Pentecost" derives from the Greek word for "fifty." For Italians, Easter, or Pasqua, does not end on the Sunday of the holiday, but rather encompasses a fifty-day pe- riod peppered with many saints' days and Easter- related festivities. The for- tieth day after Easter, for example, is Ascension Day, or Festa dell'Ascencione. Commemorating Jesus' As- cent into Heaven, Italians honor this day with spring- time festivities, like the Festa del Grillo. During this Cricket Festival, children buy cages with toy crickets inside, which are thought to bestow good luck. Pentecost also brims with quaint and unique traditions. In Italy, the holiday is often referred to as Pasqua Rossa, or "Red Easter," after the red vest- ments worn by clergy on this day. Many church services scatter rose petals upon the congregation, symbolizing the descent of the Holy Spirit and incorporating a beauti- ful summertime flower into the celebration. The English, meanwhile, know Pentecost as Whitsunday. They mark the holiday with Whitsun Ales, or outdoor fairs that include folk dancing, deco- rating with flowers and garlands, and charitable con- tributions to the local parish and other causes. Europeans know that it is so wonder- ful to experience a holiday where spirituality, commu- nity and the love of summer seamlessly combine into an unforgettable celebration. Memorial iDay arrives quickly after Pentecost, the 25 u of May. A patriotic holi- day, Memorial Day differs from height-of-summer fan- fare that characterizes the Fourth of July. Instead, it focuses more on reflection and the intimate gather- ings of family and friends. There is a sense of hope and renewed expectation on Memorial Day, as people step out into the summer for the first time, shedding away their cares as they enjoy the warm breezes that ruffle the leaves and the glowing sun- shine. Memorial Day always reminds me of images of vintage Americana: blue- berry pies sitting on check- ered tablecloths, flags gently waving in the breeze, the curl of smoke rising above a barbecue grill, umbrellas dotting the bright-blue ocean shore. The long weekend of Memorial Day has long been considered the unoffi- 'TK00zcca,tee Since 1969 FOR ALL YOUR INSURANCE NEED5 RICHARD SETTIPANE Public Insurance Adjuster Experience makes the difference! 209 BROADWAY, REVERE, MA 02151 Tel. 781.284.1100 Fax 781.284.2200 Boston 617.523.3456 Free Parking Adjacent to Building vacations and a relaxed sense of joy permeates the air. However, it is also important to remember the true meaning of Memorial Day: that all of these sum- mer joys we take for granted would not be possible with- out the brave sacrifice of the men and women who died for our country. I remember spending a quiet Memorial Day weekend evening watch- ing incandescent green-gold fireflies blink in and out of the dark trees in my back- yard, while the melodious notes of an Eagles song played from some far-off bar- becue. This moment epito- mized both the simple sum- mer pleasures and the nos- talgic sense of memory that typify this holiday. This Me- morial Day, I plan to spend time with my family, eating my corn pudding and sum- mer fruit crisp. As I experi- ence the delights of the sea- son, I will remember to be grateful to those whose cour- age paved the way for the very freedoms I am enjoying. Pentecost and Memorial Day are two diverse holidays that nevertheless share the similar themes of love and community. They encour- age us to consider our spiri- tuality and our memory, our values and the commit- ments to those that we cher- ish. During the summer, it often seems as if the world is renewed once more, full of energy and a zest of life. It is a prime time for celebrat- ing nature, for re-affirming our love to the world, and for celebrating the blessings we have in life. These holidays, with their deep significance and their beloved customs, remind us that summer is more than a season, but rather a state of the soul. As long as we embrace life with the same excitement and joy as a tree blooming under the golden sunshine, so will the sweetness of the early days of summer live forever within us. Ally Di Censo Symynkywicz is a Graduate Student in History at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She appreciates any comments and suggestions about Italian holidays and folklore at adicenso89@gmail, com. DRIVERS CDL-A 1yr. Exp. Earn $1200 + per week. Guaranteed Home time. Excellent Benefits & Bonuses. 100% No-Touch, 70% D&H 855-842-8498 Are We Still Really a Democratic Republic Run By a Constitution? Watching President Obama doing end-runs around Capi- tol Hill, I truly wonder if we are still a democratic repub- lic and constitutional govem- ment. We have a president who is unable to work things out with Republicans and has been going the executive or- der route for sometime now. We are not the govern- ment of one man or any man; we are a government of laws and a constitution which protects the natural rights of mankind. As I watched what was happening in West Balti- more recently, I saw govern- ment by the mob. Instead of using the law, we are now using our voices and the loudest voices rule the day. We have come to a tipping point in this country when we view the recent violence in Baltimore and the re- sponse of state and local elected and appointed fig- ures who do government by listening to the loudest voices and not the law. Six police officers were quickly charged with seri- ous crimes in the wake of Freddy Gray's death while in custody. It appears the decision to announce the arrests was seemingly made to soothe the anger of the maddening crowds before the weekend hit. As a police officer I have many serious questions as to what transpired on the morning of April 12 th when Gray got arrested. The pros- ecutor called his arrest a false imprisonment. I find it difficult to believe that those officers all woke up that morning saying we got to find us someone to arrest and watch die. I think things went terribly wrong and it does appear from a quick look at the facts known that Gray ended up with a broken neck while riding in the po- lice van, as many are now publicly saying. We still have many more questions than answers. It does seem a rush to judgment is being done, which is an assault on the law itself. Perhaps, the cops look like they were amiss in their duties to serve and protect, but that is for a jury to decide and not a mob, angry politi- cians or angry activists like Rev. A1 Sharpton. Six cops were aiTested, one for second degree murder and the other five for man- slaughter. The driver who is African American is charged with the most se- vere charge and of the six cops arrested, three are white and three are African American. From all appear- ances, this is not a race case, yet moon-bats across the nation are playing the race card as usual. When this case goes to court, I believe the state prosecutor will have a tough time making the case for either second degree mur- der or manslaughter and what happens if a jury sides with the cops when all the evidence is exposed. Will the mob take to the streets again in a nation where the mob (Continued on Page 15) ST. MICHAEL 500 Canterbury Street Ttle Respectful V/ay:. Boston, MA 02131 617.524.1036 Serving the Italian Community for Oer 100 Years! # Boston Harborside Home Joseph A. Langone 580 Commercial St. Boston, MA 02109 617-536-4110 Augustave M. Sabia, Jr. Trevor Slauenwhite Frederick J. Wobrock Dino C. Manca Courtney A. 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