By JOHN KANELIS / email@example.com
Once upon a time, I used to write obligatory editorials for newspapers that offered words of thanks.
I mean, it’s Thanksgiving Day, right? A uniquely American holiday that is known around the world. Perhaps the most unique observance of this day I can recall occurred in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in November 1989.
My fellow journalists and I spent the day traveling from Cambodia during the day; we crossed the Mekong River on a raft full of folks carrying goods — and live animals — to market. We arrived in what used to be known as Saigon late that afternoon. We checked into our hotel.
We went to dinner that evening and the hotel staff, catering to their American guests, presented a meal of roast duck, mashed potatoes and peas. They wished us a happy Thanksgiving. It was delicious.
This year’s celebration brings its own unique quality. The world is enduring a pandemic. It has killed a quarter million Americans. There will be much more misery and heartache ahead. And yet …
We give thanks. We thank the first responders. We thank the medical personnel, the police officers and firefighters for their courage and dedication to protecting us. We thank teachers who educate our children. We are thanking the family members who endure the tragedy and we wish them Godspeed and our prayers.
We thank the researchers who are working diligently to find and perfect a vaccine that we hope will eradicate this killer disease.
We give thanks for our families, our friends and all those who are battling together.
I no longer write full time for newspapers. My work now is of a part-time, freelance nature. I give thanks to my employers for allowing me to keep my head in the game.
This truly is a time to give thanks and offer a word of hope that we might be finally on the road back to what we used to think of as “normal.”
We’re enduring this all at once. Let’s hope for better days … and let us give thanks for what — and who — we have around us.