The day before Thanksgiving The President of the United States came on the air to discuss the terrorist threat to our country. He was solemn yet direct in his comments about the fact there are no credible threats to the United States. He encouraged families to go about their lives normally. He emphasized citizens to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity they may see. I saw families in kitchens all across the nation reminiscing with loved ones. Some may have had drinks in their hand while celebrating another year of things to be thankful for when the president came on the air. I can see heads turning, conversations ceasing, and glasses being placed on the nearest flat surface as folks tied together in a common heritage listen to talk about terrorists. The idea this conversation even needs to happen seems like an intrusion. It is a home invasion which seems to irrevocably stain the holiday. However, we live in the aftermath of terrorist attacks such as 9/11 and in recent days France. These simple facts alone have opened the doors of our homes to monsters like Isis and Al-Qaeda. Creatures which seem to be always slinking in the bushes waiting to strike without warning.
I think about when I was growing up in New Orleans. I watched my late mother cook magnificent meals. As soon as a person rolled up to our home their nostrils began to dance to the scents which wafted from her kitchen. She would boogie to her blues gods and I would stand in awe of the brilliance that emanated from her pots and pans. Her mixer would be whirling and she would be singing. The television never once blinked with the president coming on the air to speak about terrorists and credible and non-credible threats. Americans, much like myself, were wrapped in happiness and thanksgiving. I long for the days when all we had to think about was the turkey being dry or Aunt Maude drinking all the liquor.
I understand the need for caution because our world has changed. Monsters are no longer just residing in story books. Fanatical ideals have infiltrated the holidays and we must no longer be naïve. We must live in the now, but sometimes I wish we didn’t have to. I do sometimes long nostalgically for the naivety of America twenty- five ago, but today is too dangerous to return to our old mode of thinking. However, we still don’t have to give terrorists what they want which is to disrupt our holiday with fear and horror. We should still pack up our mini vans and take the traditional trip to visit grandma while the kids scream “are we there yet” every five minutes. Place your turkey in the oven with confidence and lay in on the table with pride. Lock hands in prayer during Thanksgiving and pray for the families of France whom were touched by the diseased hands of terrorists’ only a few short days ago. Remember in your prayers the 9/11 families missing a wife or a husband at the dinner table. Think about the children whom were laying in the womb when their fathers were taken away for the sake of a cruel and warped ideology. I ask that we remember terrorist don’t really care about who you are or what you look like. It is only their ideology which matters. Finally, be thankful if tragedy has not touched your home, and pray for the ones where it has landed way too often this year. Happy Thanksgiving.