The Mil & Aero Blog
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
  Giving thanks where it is due

Posted by Courtney E. Howard

I am not an historian, though I play one on the Mil & Aero Blog. I kid. I don't portend to know all that I should about history; I believe I have gained and continue to enhance a wonderful education, but I will admit to some pot-holes in my education when it comes to names, dates, and faces. I wrongfully assumed that getting the gist of important events in world history would suffice, but I often find myself wanting to know more these days. It should be of little mystery, then, why I researched the topic of Thanksgiving this week.

For instance, did you know: "In 1863, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that Thanksgiving should be a national observance. To some degree, this was a way to brighten the spirits of the American people, who were dealing with a great deal of difficulty and deprivation"? This information was gleaned from ehow.com, one of many online sites I use for rudimentary research on myriad topics.

Today, with terrorist activity apparent and threats looming, I hope that Thanksgiving gives you and yours some solace. Times are tough now, but no worse than during the Civil War.

Things in the global economy look bleak, no doubt. People around me are losing their homes. They are making sacrifices: giving up their cars, moving in with relatives or moving closer to work, opting out of the health-care system, staying put rather than traveling to visit family during the holidays (holiday travel this week is down more than 600,000 people, NBC Nightly News reports), removing meat from the nightly dinner table, and so much more.

At times like this, I know I can really use a holiday like Thanksgiving. I was raised to give thanks for all that I have daily, even when things look their worst; but, I must admit that at no other time do I reflect more on the positives in my life than Thanksgiving. (Stay tuned for my New Year's Eve "What have I done with my life for the past year?" reflections. It's a nail-biter.)

There is always something for which to be thankful. For me, today, an industry that works tirelessly to allay our fears, ensure our safety and security, and enable us to enjoy another day as free and unique individuals is at the top of my list.

Happy holidays!
 
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