There are two holidays that mean more to me when I am far from home, the first, July 4th, probably goes without saying. The second is Thanksgiving. I was surprised at how forcefully my first Thanksgiving in a foreign country struck me. At home the day had always meant football, turkey, mom's pumpkin roll, family and friends- to be sure those are all things to be missed, and I still do miss them every year. But none of them accounted for the deep rooted sense of missing America on that last Thursday in November. Gradually, however, it came to me that in addition to the food and family, the football and friends, what I was missing was the sense of tradition. America, writ large, is not a land bound by many traditions, and these two holidays are in a large part what define our common cause for celebration.
So today, though I am far from home and not likely to see any football, I am thankful for the friends and family I have with me here. I am thankful for the efforts that we all will make today as we gather together here, in an effort to have a traditional thanksgiving (I've been hoarding a few cans of whole cranberries for months just for today!).
Beyond that I am thankful for the accident of birth that allows me to call myself an American. I am thankful for the brave men and women in our armed services, for those among us that struggle to protect us all from those who would do us harm. I am thankful for our allies in this struggle against our enemies, no matter how the left and MSM belittle them. I am thankful for purple stained fingers proudly thrust in front of the media's cameras.
I am thankful for you, for reading this, and hope that you too can celebrate this American holiday with thanks, wherever you are.
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