Honoring those who deserve it in March

Well, I am anxiously awaiting the season of spring.

The groundhog predicted an early arrival this year — it can’t come soon enough for me. Spring is my favorite time of year. I remember as a youngster, one of my teachers used to say that March “comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” Groundhog or not, that is usually the way it goes.

There are several events celebrated during this month. One topic is something that I have never written about previously. Women’s History Month is an annual declared month that highlights the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. It’s celebrated during March in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, corresponding with International Women’s Day on March 8. It is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. In honor of International Women’s Day, we want to celebrate some of the great “firsts” that women have achieved since the first Women’s Day in 1909.

1910: Alice Stebbins Wells was the first American woman to become a police officer. 1912: Girl Scouts established. 1916: Jeannette Rankin was the first woman to be elected to Congress. 1921: Edith Wharton was the first woman in the United States to win the Pulitzer Prize. 1925: Nellie Taloe Ross was the first woman to be elected as a governor. 1928: Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly across the United States. 1934: Lettie Pate Whitehead was the first female director of a major corporation — the Coca-Cola Company. 1942: Anna Leah Fox was the first woman who received the Purple Heart. 1949: Sara Christian was the first female competitor in a major league NASCAR stock car race. 1957: (Decoy: Police Woman) was the first TV show to feature a female protagonist. 1959: Arlene Pieper was the first American woman to finish a marathon. 1970: Patricia Palinkas was the first woman to play in an American football game professionally. 1979: Susan B. Anthony was the first woman on a U.S coin. 1981: Sandra Day O’Connor was the first female justice on the United State Supreme Court. 1983: Sally Kristen Ride was the first American woman in space aboard the space shuttle Challenger. 1984: Geraldine Ferraro was the first woman to run as the vice president candidate on a major party ticket. 1987: Aretha Franklin was the first woman in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 1993: Janet Reno was the first female U.S. attorney general. 1997: Madeline Albright was the first female U.S. secretary of state. 2007: Nancy Pelosi was the first female speaker of the House and the highest-ranking woman in United States political history. 2015: Jennifer Welter was the first woman to coach in men’s indoor pro-football. 2016: Hillary Clinton was the first woman nominated for president by a major political party.

I found the above listing very interesting and would like to expound on it one day. Being a powerful woman means to have a purpose, be passionate, stay authentic — and all of that with confidence. People who know me know that I love all mankind.

I don’t care if a person is black or white, purple or blue, male, female or other. I have no discrimination. God made us all — I am just me. We need to respect each other. We need to support positive changes, wherever they come from.

Mary Valentich says, “International Women’s Day gives all of us a chance to consider how we can make the world a better place, a more inclusive place for every one … “

Oh course, we all know that St. Patrick’s Day is also in March — the 17th to be exact. It remembers St. Patrick, one of Ireland’s patron saints, who ministered Christianity in Ireland during the 5th century. The 17th signifies the anniversary of his death in 461. The day is a global celebration of Irish culture. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over a thousand years. On St. Patrick’s Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenton prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink and feast — on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.

St. Patrick was born in Roman Britain, he was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16. He later escaped, but returned to Ireland and was credited with bringing Christianity to its people. In the centuries following Patrick’s death, the mythology surrounding his life became ever more ingrained in Irish culture. Perhaps the most well-known legend is that he explained the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) using the three leaves of a native Irish clover, the shamrock. Whatever you do in celebration of this day, have fun with it and don’t go overboard on the green drinks!

Another day to celebrate is National Medal of Honor Day. The greatest commendation our nation can confer is the Medal of Honor. The first Medals of Honor were presented on March 25, 1863. To commemorate this date and all Medal of Honor recipients, Congress declared March 25 as National Medal of Honor Day. The Medal of Honor is reserved for those who have distinguished themselves “conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity” (heroic courage; bravery, fearlessness). On the National Medal of Honor Day, we remember the courage and selfless sacrifice of those incredible individuals. The National Medal of Honor has been awarded to 3,493 individuals during 26 conflicts. There are currently 79 living Medal of Honor recipients, and 19 recipients have received two medals. The following is a list of the average age of recipients at the time of the Medal of Honor action: All services — 26 years old; U.S. Army recipients — 25 years old; U.S. Air Force — 23 years old; U.S. Coast Guard — 23 years old; U.S. Navy — 29 years old; U.S. Army Air Corps — 27 years.