Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. ~Charles W. Eliot

Monday, November 22, 2010

Giving Thanks

There is nothing quite like American Thanksgiving. I grew up in Canada and, though there is a Canadian Thanksgiving, which falls on or around Columbus Day, it's simply not the same thing. I don't believe there is a single Canadian holiday that is celebrated by everyone, regardless of religion, race, culture or creed. But in America, Thanksgiving is celebrated by everyone and, as a result, it's the happiest day of the year. At least that's my experience. I quite like the ideal of everyone across the country contemplating their circumstance and giving thanks. I give thanks for my family, my friends, my work, my colleagues, my dog - but most, of all, for my husband and our daughters. For this reason's, President Barack Obama's recently released children's book, Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters, illustrated by the immensely talented Loren Long, speaks to my heart. The book is a "tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation". I am touched by the President's decision to tell the stories of great Americans in the form of a loving letter to his daughters, in whom he recognizes and appreciates the traits of the heroes whose stories he tells, and also by the fact that proceeds from the book will be donated to a scholarship fund for the children of fallen and disabled soldiers serving our nation. What's more - I love this book - it's a beautiful and meaningful tribute that should probably reside in every American home next to a copy of Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out.

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