Remembrance Of Things Past

Dec. 28, 2003

(CBS) I love Christmas but we've made it awfully hard. For one thing, it lasts too long.

We have too many special days -- so many, that some months it's hard to get anything done.

There's just so much time you can spend recalling our past, observing holidays or thinking about people who were dear to us who have died. I thought about that just recently with all the attention given the 40th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

I lost three friends this year myself -- three dear friends. It happens at my age. I don't mourn for them every day. I just miss them. That's the most I can do and still work. I think they'd understand.

On June 6 next year, I'm going back to Normandy on the 60th anniversary of one of the greatest things one group of humans ever did for another -- the invasion that freed Europe from Adolf Hitler.

The date 9\11 has become part of our national history. It's going to be recalled in detail every year from now on. There are always going to be memorable days like that added to our calendar, and I worry about how many we can take without filling it to the point where we can’t get anything done.

December 7 was the 62nd anniversary of the day President Roosevelt said would live in infamy -- the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

We all have personal days -- birthdays and anniversaries. The question is how much of our time can we devote to remembrance? We now have 10 national holidays and a lot more unofficial ones.

The last we added was Martin Luther King's birthday. I didn't think we needed another "day," but I couldn't object to that one.

I was in India years ago and the country has such a long history that it's stalled on about fifty days a year because of some religious or national holiday. It's one reason India isn't getting enough done.

I suppose dates fade away as history leaves them behind, but we should have a formal way of doing that. We ought to have a law making it mandatory for us to drop one holiday every time we add a new one.

And we should limit the celebration of Christmas to one week.

Have a nice holiday. BAH HUMBUG!

Written By Andy Rooney © MMIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.