December is typically the time when we think of Christmas and the new year. However, this year, as hard as we try, those traditions will not be the same as we continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
When we think of Christmas, we of course think of getting together with our family. I believe it will be important during the holidays this year that we stay vigilant to remain safe even if that means gathering with our immediate family.
I recall my family’s holiday gatherings of the 1970s. We would visit my grandparents in southern Ohio on the little farm that they owned. The olive green house with matching shag carpet would not be attractive by today’s standards, but I loved seeing the people inside.
Some of the people I saw during those visits were true heroes to me, tracing back to the decisions they made more than 30 years prior. December 7 meant something to my grandfather and my great uncles who served our country.
Many of you have heard the speech delivered by President Roosevelt calling this “a date which will live in infamy.” December 7, 1941, is the day our military and our country was attacked at Pearl Harbor.
The men whom I would later see at our Christmas celebration in the ’70s stood up to join the military in the ’40s. I often wondered what that was like for them. My family would go on to serve in Europe in the United States Army throughout the war.
There are a couple of mementos in my house and in my office that remind me of the sacrifice of my family and the many Americans who defend our country. I have a small picture of my grandfather on my desk and in our living room I have the American flag that was given to my grandmother at his funeral.
I know this holiday season will be different. I have faith that our country will overcome this pandemic and once again we will be able to enjoy the life that we love so much. But during this time when we sacrifice, let us not forget the sacrifices that have been made for many years by American heroes.