As pictures of wounded children — and tiny body bags — cast long shadows across international media these past few days, I am so very grateful to live in a country free from war within our borders. I am grateful my two wonderful sons don’t have to choose between fighting and leaving, as many in my generation did. I am grateful to the many who have chosen to fight so that my sons have this option today.

My family is proud of our many veterans, several of them (my sister, my father, others in the extended family) lifers. So perhaps this is a double thank-you, today: gratitude that peace is possible, and humility at the price it has cost too many.

But today, after a day of walking across the pedestrian bridge over the river, watching a flock of more than 100 pelicans basking in the bright Oklahoma light, I am grateful that there is peace. I am grateful to walk down a street free from fear of bombs. I am grateful no one I love is dodging rockets shot from school yards. And I am well aware that violence begets violence, as so many faiths remind us. I can’t imagine living, as I do, almost 2,000 miles from sons, if they were at war. I breathe for every parent with children — old or young — at risk through war…

So today I give thanks for peace, and the centuries of American soldier who have fought to keep it for us. It is a gift too many of us take for granted.

 

 

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