The American holiday of Thanksgiving traditionally focuses on sentiments of gratitude; gratitude for the gifts each of us have, for our families and loved ones, for health and for country. I always remember as a young girl the image of the Thanksgiving “Horn of Plenty” filled with butternut squash, pears and other delicious foods. But moving abroad and being away from home can serve as a reminder that this holiday is less about cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes glazed with marshmallows and maple syrup than a sense of belonging, loved ones and home.
Nothing replaces family, but opening your heart and bringing people together in solidarity around national pride and community can be a powerful unifier. This is what we felt this year when our United States Marines honored us by joining our Thanksgiving meal.
These courageous young men risk their lives and sacrifice family, home and personal life every day to ensure the safety of ours. It’s not just our duty to return the generosity of spirit they give in their daily lives, but these are great guys and we had a fantastic time laughing, chasing around the kids and telling stories about our families. For three hours, we ate turkey and butternut squash pie, and talked candidly as the sun quickly set in the darkness of the Swedish winter. The maturity, perspective and prescient foresight in the words of these young men made me so proud to be part of this community.
Mark, Aurora and I feel so fortunate and blessed to have the opportunity to be in Sweden and to have all of you in our lives. This holiday is about selflessness and inclusiveness, and that is what we have found in this Embassy community
This Thanksgiving I feel more blessed than I ever have before as I have gained another big family who inspires and teaches me so much every day. We are so thankful to have you all in our lives. Happy Thanksgiving!