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The Blessings of a Joyful Thanksgiving

Date: November 23, 2017



The Blessings of a Joyful Thanksgiving

It’s hard to believe we've cycled through another year with the holiday season already at the doorstep. Nevertheless, laden with abundance, comforted and supported by our loved ones, as well as our entire AFA Family, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to count our blessings and give thanks for all of them.

Perhaps a year of headline-grabbing stories that occupied our time and attention made it seem like the holiday season crept up on us faster than usual. It's stunning to think that the New Year is just around the corner!  

This year has reminded us how swiftly circumstances can change and how quickly our possessions can be stripped from beneath us. We have all taken for granted safety and security at times, and rested assured our homes and belongings, and even lives, could never be taken from us. In 2017, far too often, we witnessed events of historic magnitude that took the lives, homes, and belongings of our flying partners, family, friends, neighbors and fellow citizens. 

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria struck with record-breaking devastation blindsiding us with alarming regularity. Homes were reduced to ashes, as a result of a massive outbreak of wildfires hitting the western region of the United States. Many of our Flight Attendants live in the hurricane or wildfire affected areas, and suffered heavy losses accordingly, along with millions of Americans targeted this year by nature's fury.

Our hearts were once again broken as multiple mass shootings unfolded in both Las Vegas and Texas, as we helplessly watched evil men, without provocation, ruthlessly take the lives of innocent men, women, and children.

These horrific events were a staunch reminder of how fragile life is. A reminder that our own safety and security is never guaranteed, and valuable things we own can be taken from us at times when circumstances are out of our control.

As one devastating event struck after another, many froze in disbelief, overwhelmed by the devastation and destruction. Hopeless, broken, and calling out in desperation for help. 

That’s when our Flight Attendant family jumped into action.

What a proud moment it was to witness our Flight Attendants’ generosity toward not only their co-workers, but neighbors, friends and even complete strangers. They donated their time, manual labor, and vehicles as they cleaned out flood-ridden homes. They selflessly donated money, clothing, spare uniforms, and furniture, and some even opened their own homes to co-workers and strangers who had been displaced or evacuated from fire or flooded areas. They collected donations, water, food, and medical supplies, and enthusiastically worked humanitarian flights in hurricane-ravished areas.

Through every event, Flight Attendants supported other Flight Attendants. Flight Attendants supported their communities. Flight Attendants selflessly gave to perfect strangers, and did so as many were suffering from the same catastrophic losses. It was Flight Attendants that graciously lead the way of giving and gratitude. We are the foundation of the true meaning of giving and display the perfect definition of Thanksgiving and this holiday season.

Our Flight Attendant Family proved their reliability during times of desperate need, in a year that produced so many devastating events. It's encouraging to know we'll never be alone. There will always be someone to lean on and lift us up when we need them most.

No one knows where the road leads, but we do know that we care about one another. As AFA Flight Attendants working side-by-side, it's comforting to know that no matter what life throws our way, we are all in this together. 

Knowing that our AFA Members can always be counted on, makes us confident we can overcome any hardship or adversity visited upon us by any obstacle we may confront. Therefore, it is more than appropriate this Thanksgiving to give thanks for each other and the people in our lives that we cherish. Surely, among our many blessings, they are our greatest. Celebrate life, and celebrate each other. 

No matter how you plan to spend Thanksgiving Day, know that you are appreciated. We are grateful and proud that we are all part of the same Flight Attendant family. As we look back over the year, let us remain sincerely grateful — not for our belongings, but for each other. 

Thank you for being a blessing to so many, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving,

Ken Diaz, MEC President
Association of Flight Attendants, CWA, AFL-CIO


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