Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 329- Thankful

Kelsey --

When Michelle and I sit down with our family to give thanks today, I want you to know that we'll be especially grateful for folks like you.

Everything we have been able to accomplish in the last two years was possible because you have been willing to work for it and organize for it.

And every time we face a setback, or when progress doesn't happen as quickly as we would like, we know that you'll be right there with us, ready to fight another day.

So I want to thank you -- for everything.

I also hope you'll join me in taking a moment to remember that the freedoms and security we enjoy as Americans are protected by the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces. These patriots are willing to lay down their lives in our defense, and each of us owes them and their families a debt of gratitude.

Have a wonderful day, and God bless.


Dear Mr. President,

Happy Thanksgiving. The e-mail you sent out to all of your supporters this morning made me think about the people in my life that I'm grateful for. Today seems like as good a day as any to thank them all.

I'm thankful for my family, who I don't see often enough. They are all wonderful and supportive and are doing/have done amazing things with their lives. They were my first and most important teachers and I love them.

I'm thankful for my friends, who are a part of my family. For my new coworkers, who, in making me love them, have made me love my new job. They are wonderful and unimaginably talented and so very welcoming. My friends around the world, especially those working with Peace Corps or the API and other volunteer projects, I appreciate them for spending thanksgiving away from home in the service of a better world. For all of my lovely, diverse, amazing friends in Seattle and around the country, who make my life so much better just by being in it (and who read these letters more than you do, Mr. President,) I am grateful. I am especially grateful for my roommates, my three adopted sisters who take great care of me and who prove that families come in many forms.

I'm thankful for all of my teachers and professors, the uncompromising courage of those academics who have inspired, encouraged and pushed me to be a better and more intellectually curious individual. From the elementary school classrooms of RuthAnn Wilson to the university lectures of Isam Ali, Keith Feldman, William Smaldone, and many, many others along the way I have become the person I am, have been shaped most significantly because of their guidance.

I'm thankful for those activists who are putting their lives and their safety and their freedom on the line to stand up for what is right. Marcy Newman, Diane Gee, George Rishmawi, every one at the US Boat to Gaza and so many others around the world who are fighting injustice at immense personal risk and cost. Too many of us are content to sit at home and hide behind our computer screens and blog angrily about injustice, while few among us have the courage to do whatever it takes to stop it.

I am thankful for those in the GLBTQ community, friends and strangers, who continue to struggle for basic rights to marry and to serve our country openly. I believe that one day our country will do the right thing by these men and women, but until then, I am grateful that they have not lost hope (or just moved to Canada.) Our country is better for our GLBTQ citizens and ought to do better by them.

I am thankful to live in such a great city, in a beautiful part of the country, full of artistic, adventurous, political people (who can't drive in the snow.)

I am thankful to live in a country where the kind of criticism I make of it every day don't land me in prison (or, at least, haven't yet.) Where I may speak out about the things we do wrong in hopes of making it a better, more just, place for every one. I am thankful to live in a country that can change, even if it it changes too slowly. I'm thankful to really every one who works for our country, for the military, the government, law enforcement and fire fighters and every one who tries to make this country a safer place.

I'm thankful for the Native Americans, who are too often forgotten on this day. Our country came about at their expense, at the cost of so many of their lives, and still they work to preserve the cultures, languages and traditions that many have tried so hard to wipe out. I'm grateful that they have not lost all hope in the face of overwhelming odds, and I am sorry that so many have forgotten.

I am thankful to you, Mr. President, and so glad that you beat John McCain. I'm thankful for the health care bill, for student loan reform, and other legislation you've passed, thankful for the political battles you've won and for those you lost (if not for those you gave up on without a fight.) I'm thankful that you haven't stopped trying, that you haven't lost faith, and that you continue to try to be a better President. I'm thankful that we elected you and I'm thankful that you serve our country even in these challenging times.

Thank you. (And thanks, all.)

Respectfully yours,


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