11 November 2011

A Season of Thanks: Day 11

On this day, Veterans Day, I've been thinking a lot about my freedoms.

Today, I am thankful for all that my citizenship gives me.

I didn't choose it.
Neither did my parents or theirs.
But somewhere down the lineage, someone's parents were immigrants in this country, and they lived a very difficult life.
I try never to forget that.

I try to remember that so much of what I consider "normal life" is because I was born with a social security number. I try to remember that the rest of the world, even the rest of this country, does not have the same privileges.

And I remember that some of those privileges came at a price.
The price of two of my great uncles' lives and countless others'.

At my core, I am a pacifist. So things like thanking our soldiers becomes a challenge for me. Not because I don't appreciate what they've done for me, but because I wish we didn't need them at all.

But I am SOOOOO grateful that I have the right to say I struggle with this. And that right comes from the fact that no government official is reading my blog looking for hints of treason or anarchy.

I have dear, dear friends who are active military. And I see their families struggle through their absence. I know the cost, even if it doesn't cost their lives.

Today, I say thank you. Thank you for putting your loved one at risk for what this country represents. Thank you for the long hours, tedious duties, difficult assignments, horrid weather, and your willingness to do it all over again. Thank you for missing birthday parties and Christmases and the births of your children. Thank you for being lonely so the world might one day be a safer place.

Please don't ever hear me say that my questioning of war is a questioning of YOU. Your sacrifices are treasured.

Today, I say thank you.

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