Thank you for signing up. For showing up. For not giving up.
Thank you FOR giving up. For sacrificing. For missing wedding anniversaries. And dance recitals. And little league games. So that we won’t have to.
Thank you to your families. For working overtime. Counting days. Counting hours. Counting minutes. Til you safely arrive home.
Thank you—is there enough thanks to extend—to those of you who don’t make it home? I know there isn’t. There are no words. How could there be? My heart breaks for you and your families, and no amount of appreciation or expression would ever, could ever, be adequate. I think of you and your families often. For whatever it may be worth, please know that.
Thank you for reminding me that life isn’t about who got voted off The Voice, that cutting down on my cable channels is not a sacrifice, and that a warm bed and healthy food in my kids’ bellies is something many throughout the world are still lacking.
Thank you for having ALL our backs. For not caring what our religion, or our race, or our sexual preference is. Thank you for only caring about what matters—that we are all individually, and collectively, America.
Thank you for proudly representing us. All of you. Every man and woman. Of every faith. And every race. Of any sexual orientation. Of probably every nationality on the planet. You are any American soldier. You are every American solider.
Thank you for allowing me to run my mouth with all the reckless abandon, all the reverently irreverence I can even think of, all the what to the what about the what I want when I want, how I want, to whom I want.
Thank you for enabling all of us. Any of us. Each of us. To vote. To have a say. To decide not to exercise our say, if we really don’t want. (Though I hope and think we should want. Personally. I do.)
Thank you for fighting for our democracy. Though we may behave badly toward each other at times in the name of it, in my heart I think it’s because most of us love our country and want the best for it, but don’t necessarily agree on how to steer this big, beautiful, complicated thing of beauty. (And then there’s the others, who I know are in the minority but who I know? Are just big, stanky, arrogant douchewaffles. Who are extended all the love and the courtesy and the benefits of our country despite being… big, stanky, arrogant American douchewaffles. I said it wasn’t all perfect, didn’t I?)
Thank you for loving us. And fighting for ALL of us. Warts and all. We’re an imperfect people. Who represent an imperfect country. But damn. It’s the best stab at freedom and democracy and perfection I can see.
Thank you. For more reasons than I can articulate here, thank you. I think of you. So many of us think of you, not just on Memorial Day, but every day. Because we are all Americans.
A proud, sometimes loud (Because I can be! Thanks!) imperfect American