Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often. – Johnny Carson
The day before Thanksgiving is the heaviest travel day of the year. This true of all modes of transportation, but none more filled with tension than air travel. During my years in air traffic I worked many of these days. From the inside, it was serious business.
I arrived to take my position at the radar in the Los Angeles Center with coffee at hand, my mind focused and with a bit of apprehension for the task at hand. It was fun and awesome at the same time.
Those days were also days of honor, where I could serve the travelers of this nation, even the world, so they could get home to be with family and loved ones. I was aware of what was at stake:
- hugs and tears of welcome
- reminiscence with family and friends
- reminders of those no longer with us
- grandparents seeing grandchildren, perhaps for the first time
- And even some reluctant endurance of bad memories
Whatever awaited at the end of each passenger’s voyage, we did our best (really) to not add to the stress of the travel.
Sending Thanksgiving Peace
Today, I have to admit, I don’t miss the tension and stress. Yet, neither do I regret having served in this way. As I said, it was and honor.
So from Maison Steinbuchel we sent our warmest prayers for a day filled with peace, good food, and fellowship, wherever you may be. For those serving our country in the military, public safety, air traffic or any other civil service, we send our thanks.
If you are serving in some way away from friends and family, please let me know in the comments below. I want to thank you personally. If not, where will you spend your Thanksgiving this year?