As I woke up this morning and scheduled my Thanksgiving day, which included determining whether to eat breakfast or maintain an empty stomach for dinner, whether I, at age 30, could muster up enough confidence to ask my mother if I could eat dinner while watching football, and whether I could feasibly touch base with all of my friends and family on this holiday, it hit me! In the illustrious words of John F. Kennedy, on Thanksgiving, “as we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
Now, as I sit before my Parents’ “only in America must I purchase this size” television and watch the first of three NFL games scheduled for today, I observe individuals who truly live by their words on this Thanksgiving day. First and foremost, I see American soldiers stationed at army bases in Iraq, Afghanistan and a number of other regions who are football fans and watching the same game as me. The NFL has provided a live broadcast of these troops rooting for their respective teams to display its and America’s appreciation for these soldiers and their role in risking their lives while keeping our country safe. While these soldiers put on a happy face via the FOX broadcast, you can’t help but realize that they must maintain at all times in the back of their minds the thought that potential violence is just around the corner, or maybe even just over their shoulder. They are all stationed in violent war zones, yet they live by their promise to this country on Thanksgiving day to protect us so that we can–among other things–enjoy our family and friends, stuff our faces, and overindulge in football, carbohydrates, and discounts on items at stores around the country.
Secondly, I observe well-paid individuals strap on pads and a helmet and spend either their Thanksgiving afternoon or evening entertaining America…and even other parts of the world. Though these football players on average make more money annually than 99.99999% of Americans, they step onto football fields within stadiums and domes around this country and work on Thanksgiving day. They work hard. They are passionate about what they do. As a direct result, football entertains Americans and, in certain instances, permits these individuals to either forget about the fact that they got laid off, lost a family member or friend, or learned that they are ill. Football is a blessing for many on Thanksgiving day, even for our soldiers. As a direct result, NFL players live by their promise to the League and, to a certain extent, this country on Thanksgiving day to entertain us Americans and provide us a sense of joy for at least one day out of the year.
Accordingly, thank you to our soldiers and others who work so hard on Thanksgiving day to permit Americans to be so thankful for everything and everyone around them.