Thank you for taking time to read this personal message. As we move through Veterans Day into the season of Thanksgiving, I'm trying to be mindful of all that I've been given. A central theme of those many gifts are the freedoms I have to make choices about how to live out aspects of my life. All too often, I have taken many of those for granted. So here are few things I'm really thankful for:
Our freedoms, as people and a nation. God's inspiration guided our founding fathers when they crafted the principles and premises that still guide this great country and which stand guard against the divisive forces that seek to tear into the fabric of what has been our history. Broad personal freedoms can allow unity and compassion to win out over fear and self interests. The fiber of our people will drive us to re-weave new cloth that is better and stronger than before. I'm thankful we can continue discerning the facts of our day with undiminished respect for our Constitution, renewed relational tolerance, and a deep personal humility.
Our veterans, past and present. Those freedoms came at a price, paid out over decades around the world, but our values as a nation stand out today because so many were willing to sacrifice so much to protect them. Those were gifts freely given for the highest possible goal: peace in this world. I'm still moved to tears at Oshkosh each day at 2:30, when tens of thousands stop their walking and talking to honor the flag and our national anthem. It is right to remember and give thanks.
Our freedoms to fly. Our ability to transit and explore the vast reaches of this beautiful country, relatively unencumbered by burdensome fees and needless restrictions, is a remarkable privilege. The network of facilities, navigation capabilities, and support services we enjoy in the USA are second to none. Those who have flown elsewhere know that there's "no place like home!" More valuable than all that is the "fellowship of aviators" I've gotten the privilege to know — competent and compassionate humans connected by their passions, but also committed to use their gifts to serve and bless others.
Lastly I am so very thankful for our customers and channel partners worldwide.
So for all of this, and the gift of life and breath each day, I give thanks.
Allan K. Schrader
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