But I would be remiss not to go on record with a big thank you to President Barack Obama; a man I pointedly didn't vote for, and I now sincerely regret missing out on that honor.
No president is perfect, but he earned my deep respect as a man of impeccable character and integrity. He governed with a constant level of composure and dignity that few, if any, presidents maintain.
I'm thankful to him for many things, most beyond my station to adequately appreciate or comprehend.
Most personally, I am thankful for the way he fought to bring my dying brother-in-law home for treatment from Ebola, amidst a storm of disapproval, and conspiracy theorist rampage. He took enormous hits from fear mongering "leaders", who sought fame for themselves in the chaos of crisis. But rather than taking many possible options for an easy way out, he kept his remarkable levelheadedness and took on the challenge with immediacy. He trusted the citizen's of our country who were well trained for this circumstance, empowered them to do their jobs well, and saw incredible success. He helped save Kent Brantly's life, which I give thanks for every single day.
Furthermore, he did not start (or ever seek to start…) an epidemic. As always, he met the criticism and personal attack with grace and prudence. Meanwhile, Obama DID work to control the diseases spread in Africa, making the US the top donor in the Ebola epidemic, saving countless lives and safeguarding his country while at the same time assisting others in the fight.
From some perspectives, that’s a relatively tiny part of his overall work and impact as President. But my intimacy with that subject helped open my eyes to a huge number of other works, and I continue to be impressed with his leadership.
Thank you, Obama. To you and your beautiful family. For your poise, grace, and for promoting justice and mercy in this world. Keep it up. You have further inspired me, and many others, to do the same.