Plenty to Be Thankful For

Holiday Inn is most famous for introducing the world to Irving Berlin's classic "White Christmas" performed by Bing Crosby. But today I'm thinking about another song from the movie that nobody remembers. It doesn't even get a full performance (my recent lament about the decline in the observance of Thanksgiving could go back a ways), but we do hear part of "Plenty to Be Thankful For."

As we celebrate the holiday, we have the kids home, along with Rhonda's roommate from college. Rhonda's boyfriend Ben is flying in tonight. My parents fly in (God and American Airlines and DFW Airport willing) tomorrow. Thanksgiving is a family time. And I'm glad we'll be together.

It's been a tough year, and yet...

We're healthy. We have plenty of (too much) food. We have a warm house. We live in America. What else do we need?

Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers' arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and bless├Ęd peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed;
And free us from all ills, in this world and the next!

All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given;
The Son and Him Who reigns with Them in highest Heaven;
The one eternal God, whom earth and Heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.

Martin Rinckart, c. 1640


What's Wrong with America on a Single Sign

We were in the store today, and saw a sign that pretty much sums up what's wrong with our country: All Fall Merchandise 80% Off!

Yep, got to get that Thanksgiving stuff out of the way so the great greedy green Christmas machine can roll on unimpeded. This is nuts. The only national holiday that even comes close to comparing to the importance of Thanksgiving is the 4th of July. Yet it seems like we just can't be bothered with gratitude any more. Too much work...too much delay in the instant gratification process we've come to expect as our right.

But a lack of gratitude is the root of many evils. And if we continue this headlong rush toward forgetting the source of our blessings, we're going to regret it.


Remembering the Last Veterans

There are three of them left--Americans who were in the Armed Forces during World War I (according to answers.com). Of those, only one, Frank Buckles actually served overseas. The "war to end all wars" came to a close 89 years ago this Sunday, and these are the last of our fighting men from that conflict.

Buckles, Frank Woodruff Born: 1 February 1901 Age: 106
American USA-Army Last (US Veteran) to finish training, and serve overseas, Resides in Charles Town, West Virginia

Coffey, J. Russell Born: 1 September 1898 Age: 108
American USA-Army Did not see action (was still in training); resides in North Baltimore, Ohio

Landis, Harry Richard Born: 12 December 1899 Age: 107
American USA-Army Did not see action (was still in training); resides in Sun City Center, Florida

And as always on Veteran's Day, a big thanks to my dad for answering his country's call when his number came up for that "between their loved homes and the war's desolation" thing. I am proud to be the son of an American soldier.