Sunday, May 28, 2006

Memorial Day as a kind of "Thanksgiving"

There are a pair of bumper stickers, one of which reads,
"To a Vet: Thank You", and its counterpart, "From a Vet:
You're Welcome." We already have an American holiday
known as "Thanksgiving", but perhaps Memorial Day can be
seen as a "thank you" holiday, too, this time not to God,
per se, but to those who have lived and died in helping all
of us to have all that we have...

Because it's a pretty great thing to be an American: Sure,
there is much in our history to be ashamed of, and things
in the present that need addressing; but if you think not in
terms of politics or philanthropy or "causes" or nationalism,
but in terms of what we HAVE as Americans, it begins to
become clear how good we've got it:

-- Unlike countries such as Congo, we've not had civil war
in more than 140 years
-- Comparatively speaking, our economy is stable
-- We (like many Western nations) are a nation of laws,
not burdened by Theocracies or tied to Royalty
-- Nearly anyone can find a job if they so desire, and many
Americans have their own businesses
-- Every single one of us can go into any public place and
find clean water, a restroom, and electricity
-- Geographically, we live in a climate that is generally
conducive to comfortable living
-- Every single one of us is free to speak and write as we
choose (generally), without fearing our government

The list goes on and on... We take SO MUCH for granted,
every single day... Food, water, transportation systems,
peaceful streets, decent schools, employment, freedom to
worship as we choose (or not at all), breathable air (for the
most part), local, city, state, and national Law Enforcement
organizations, technology and media, sports, entertainment,
colleges and universities by the hundreds, etc. etc. etc...

Sometimes, when my government does or says something
that causes dismay and disappointment, I'm not necessarily
"proud" to be an American, but I am always extremely GLAD
and profoundly thankful to be one...

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