As I took my trash out yesterday (Thursday is trash pickup day), I remembered that they're not picking up on Thanksgiving. So it's going to wait out there in the dumpster until Monday, when they come for it. And that's fine by me. It's Thanksgiving. The trash can wait. It's not going anywhere.
A few minutes ago, I briefly considered going to the grocery store to pick up some Coke. I only have about four cans left. And maybe pick up some more of those amazing Amphissa olives that I'm running low on. They're somewhat squishy, and I can't stand it when olives have a squishy texture, but damn, they taste so good that it makes up for the texture. But of course, I remembered from last year that they're closed early today so the employees can be with their families. That's fine, too. It's Thanksgiving. I have plenty else in my pantry, and I'm thankful. The minor grocery trip can wait.
Just about the only Americans who don't have the day off today are our brave men and women in uniform. They're on raids in Baghdad's Sadrite rats' nest slums today.
52 of our fellow Americans have died this November in Iraq. Three beautiful Marines met their maker today,
on Thanksgiving. They should have been home, watching football, eating turkey, and having mindless arguments with the more obnoxious members of their families. Instead, they answered their country's call, and they went where our leaders told them to go, to fight vicious little men, entranced by the promises of madmen, who seek little but to destroy and to rule.
The Reuben family are praying for Paul Reuben
tonight, and wondering if he's alive and if he's being harmed. Paul is both a police officer at home and a warrior abroad, so he's a fitting symbol of the few who fight tirelessly to push back the darkness, whether at home or abroad.
To each and every one of my fellow Americans who's away from home on our behalf this Thanksgiving, thank you-whether you're an EMT, a police officer, a firefighter, an ER doctor, a soldier, a sailor, a Marine, an Airman.
To each and every parent wondering if their beautiful son or daughter, who they raised from a helpless baby to a lovely young woman or a strapping young lad, staying up sleepless nights when he was sick, helping her with her homework, taking him to Little League, teaching her to braid her hair, teaching him how to drive his first car, driving her to her first job, putting the fear of God into the grubby teenage boys who sought her affections-to each and every one of you, wishing you could do it all over again, to each of you, wondering why some evil man is trying to kill your son or daughter in a hard and ugly country far from the mundane American paradise that seems so miraculous and so blessed by God in comparison, thank you.
To each and every spouse back home, making the best of another holiday with her children but without her man by her side, thank you. To each and every child who doesn't have daddy home year-round, thank you. It's our
fault your daddy's not home, not his fault, and not yours. And it's only because your daddy is a better man than most of us that he's away. Your daddy loves you and wishes he was home with you. You already know that, though, and you should never doubt it. Thank you again.
And to each and every family that has to live with the uncertainty, the nightmares, the anxiety, the longing, the heartache between the phone calls that are always too short, and the fear of bearing the ultimate loss and pain, or worse, the certain knowledge of it: your sacrifice does not go unnoticed. Some of us know what it means, and care, and wish we could wave a magic wand and eliminate the necessity of sending your loved ones into harm's way to fight bad people. If only.