Let’s bow our heads and offer a simple prayer:
Father in heaven, watch over the brave men and women who serve our country. Bless them as they stand ready to protect our great nation at any cost. Bless them and their families on this Thanksgiving Day. Bless the ones who are separated from their families and friends, answering the call, standing the watch. Watch over them, protect them and bring them home to their loved ones. Let us never forget their sacrifices and the families who love and support them. May this Thanksgiving Day be the day we keep them in our thoughts and prayers. In Your name we give our humble thanks. Amen.
Tomorrow we gather with friends and family to celebrate another Thanksgiving Day. There is abundant food in our great country and abundant generosity for those less fortunate. So many organizations reach out to be sure that this great tradition is there for everyone.
It was my life’s honor to be raised in a military family by two World War II veterans. My father and mother knew the true meaning of duty to God, country and family. Though they are gone, those values remain imbedded in my heart and soul.
There will be plenty of eating, drinking and watching sports on television. It is part of that great American tradition, part of our heritage, that measure of freedom to take time to give thanks, celebrate, pray and laugh.
We all know that freedom is not free. Please look at the lone soldier at the top of the page. Let his image set itself deep within your memory banks. Take a look at the meal beside him. It wouldn’t make the grade at a lot of homeless shelters on Thanksgiving Day. Yet there he stands, vigilant, strong and ready to do what’s necessary to carry out his country’s orders.
We have Soldiers, Sailors and Marines on guard all over the world, deployed away from their loved ones. Back home, those loved ones gather around that empty chair that hopefully won’t be empty this time next year.
Forget the pomp and parades, forget about the anticipation of Black Friday shopping. This Thanksgiving is the best time to keep in mind those who serve.
A Navy Seal once said: “We are the sheep dogs — we protect the sheep.” Damn right they do. We are like a giant flock of sheep with so many wolves on the prowl.
We’ve been at war fighting terrorism around the globe for 18 years at a cost of more than $2 trillion. Digest those numbers after your meal.
Thousands of lives have been lost in this war and no end appears in sight.
Yet they serve, they sacrifice, they protect us — our military.
And here back at home, let’s not forget our first responders — our police, fire fighters and paramedics. Crime, accidents and fires don’t take holidays. They are on guard as well.
So for all those who serve and protect, we keep you in our thoughts and prayers.
And we give you a world of thanks.
It’s the least we can do.