I do not fear admitting that I am anti-war. I find no shame in wishing fervently that our instincts as human beings would drive us toward reconciliation and mutual respect, far quicker than they still drive us to retaliation and bitter enmity.

That said, I know what it is to wear a uniform and stand within a body of men and women dedicated to service. I admire anyone who is willing to compromise their safety and security, in the belief that their actions will contribute to the greater good. At this time of year, I am also saddened that this kind of service has no “time-out” period, no “pause’ button, no vacation.

As we begin decorating our homes, and shopping for gifts, let’s take a moment to remember the thousands of men and women who are in Afghanistan, Iraq, and many other parts of the world not called “home” to them.

also remember those who won’t come home at all, or not how they’d wish:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYAneQMvEuw]click here for info on this project

And last, let us think of some small way we might show our appreciation for those who do their best to make our world a better place:  To the soldiers serving far from home; to the nurses and doctors on call; to the police and fire crews waiting to respond to the inevitable; to the teachers spending that extra time to help students end the year on a high note; to the parents who struggle valiantly to bring joy and cheer to their children, even in the face of financial hardship…to these and all the others who think of someone else as much as or more than themselves, I say “God Bless you, one and all”.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Holidays. However you celebrate, may this season bring you equal opportunities for joy and reflection.