Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving America!!

I want to give thanks to all the men and woman who are away from home protecting mine. This includes not only our Troops whose sacrifice is great as to make it unfathomable, but also to the men and women of our uniformed services like the police and firemen who work on the holidays. It includes the FBI and CIA and all the other Alphabet police of the Federal Government. I may have professional disputes with them, but I truly give thanks that they are trying to protect my family and I.

I give thanks to my colleagues and adversaries. Not only because without them I would starve, but because, for the most part, they are people who believe in the cause of Justice. They live most of their lives in courtrooms, working hard to defend the principals I hold dear. They are ethical and moral, they are patient and thoughtful, they are sincere.

I give thanks for my clients whose causes give my life meaning. Now I especially give thanks for those clients who pay us, because they make it possible to represent other clients for less and sometimes no money. I also thank all of them for entrusting their lives to me and my team. The work helps make my life meaningful.

I give thanks for my team. I work with 3 very talented young lawyers, 2 High School interns, 2 wonderful legal assistants and our bookkeeper. These young men and women come from many different backgrounds. Two were born in Countries where freedom and rights were either not available or were honored in the breech. Three were born on foreign soil, came here as young children and are pursuing their American dream. They remind me daily, not only why America is a beacon to the world, but of the opportunity we as a nation offer. These three women each work hard. They strive to better themselves through education and opportunity. They overcome language barriers and cultural differences to achieve. Each of my team speaks at least 2 and many 3 languages fluently. I am happy to get by in English and pretend to still speak High School German. I love the "United Nations" feel of our office. I love the compassion they show our clients and the camaraderie these people show each other and my family and me. In fact I think of them as part of my family and I love working beside them.

Finally I give thanks for my family. My mom and in laws. My boatload of cousins and aunts and uncles. I come from a family of very talented people. Musicians, builders, craftsmen, chefs, doctors, nurses, teachers, writers, and yes lawyers. I appreciate how they have continued to build on our grandparents dream for our family and our nation. They achieve with the knowledge that they are the children of immigrants. We are proud of our Italian Heritage and prouder of our American Citizenship. We are proud of our culture and of our country.

I give thanks and remember those in my family who are no longer with us here on earth but wait for us in heaven above. I miss my Dad and grandparents. My uncles and aunts. Sadly even a cousin. I love and miss them greatly. I appreciate the sacrifices they made so that I may have the life I share with my family.

I give thanks for my children Sal and Frank, in them I see a continuation of a dream brought over by pilgrims; and by 4 Italian men and women. Smart but without formal education, they overcame prejudice and the great depression by hard work and persistence. They traded everything for a dream. A dream for themselves and for our family. I hope they see its continuum in those two boys.

Finally I give thanks for my wife. MaryRose. She suffers each day with the ravage of Scleroderma. Yet she finds a way to be a full part of our lives. She is our inspiration and she is our cheerleader. She believes in our work. She encourages me to fight on when I don't think I have a chance. She sets an example of fortitude that I can only hope to shadow. I pray for everyday we have together. I pray for more. I am thankful for they love she showers on us, and pray she feels that which we offer to her.

If any of you are feeling thankful for the wealth and health of your life, and want to show that thanks... Help keep Scleroderma patients alive, by leaving a donation by clicking here. And Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours too.
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