Giving thanks for those who serve

The day of giving thanks for harvests great and small is upon us. A day of celebrating abundance is symbolized by the feast before us, the family and friends around us and the feats we endured behind us.

Let us give thanks for the people who serve us, today and everyday. To our military members and their families who answer the call to serve, our Veterans who answered yesterday’s call, our first responders who come to our aid — thank you for your service. Because of you, we enjoy the sweetest of freedoms to create as we wish, to conduct commerce with our neighbors, to share in the fellowship of community and to live our individual American dream as we choose to live it.

The number of Americans who serve is inspiring. Our country is home to 2 million active duty and reservist service members in our armed forces, 21.8 million veterans, more than 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers, over 1.1 million firefighters (nearly 70% of whom are volunteers), over 4 million professionally active nurses and over 1 million doctors of medicine.

Not all of you will have the opportunity to share Thanksgiving dinner with your loved ones today. Some of you are deployed overseas. Others are “on call” and stand ready to leave at a moments notice. Your families and friends will hold you close to their hearts in your absence, but this is not easy. And so, to your families — I say, thank you for your service. You serve too.