Surely the standard calendar of holidays is just a starting point from which to assemble our own days of celebration and remembrance. We don't all go in for Easter or Hanukkah or Samhain, but we've all got holidays of a sort.

February 24: the day my friend Mario de la Peña was shot down in 1996 while flying with Brothers to the Rescue. Every year, I wear a black ribbon I got at the memorial service. I don't look forward to this day, but I observe it, as I feel it is my grim duty to do so.

April 1: April Fools Day -- one of my favorites, even if I no longer have the courage to pull off truly epic shenanigans.

May 10: Whacking Day. 'Nuff said.

July 20: The day human beings walked on the surface of the Moon. At 4:17pm Eastern time (-0500), I go outside and look up at the sky, amazed.

August 25: My birthday. Always worth celebrating!

October 31: Halloween. Not only is it an excuse to play dress-up, it's also a time to get together with all my friends from UF for the better part of a weekend.

Thanksgiving Weekend: A great time to get together with the family, eat tasty food, and then observe Buy Nothing Day by going to the Lumpy Sue Music Festival in South Florida -- a gathering of local singer/songwriters and their fans -- instead of clogging up the local strip malls.

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