December has a number of occasions to celebrate
By Charles Brown
When sitting down and thinking that I had to write an article about December, the one thing that came to my mind is the importance that this month has in many people’s lives. There are many December holidays and many observances that are important to me and Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA).
The International Day of Disabled Persons is December 3rd, International Volunteer Day is December 5th and if you celebrate the religious holidays, there are many. The best way I can describe it is a month of celebrations and remembrances and thinking back over the past year.
The reason why I celebrate the International Day of Disabled Persons is because it brings the whole world together to remember that we are all one, and inclusion is the only way that we can live. To keep anyone apart from someone else because of his or her disability simply cannot exist. So, I remember this day fondly, and I say thank you. Inclusion of everyone in life is vitally important for the whole world to succeed.
I think of December 5th as a day made for PVA.
PVA was founded as a volunteer organization, and we should remember to say thank you to the volunteers who helped us move forward and do great things.
PVA’s founders started building this organization through the volunteerism of soldiers who came back from World War II and needed help to achieve the highest quality of life possible after sustaining a spinal-cord injury. Today, we are afforded the ability to work with true professionals and all the volunteer members, families and supporters.
I want to say thank you to all the people who volunteer their time, talents and abilities to help improve the quality of life of veterans.
In November, I spoke about family and different levels of it. This month, it is about my family — my parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, niece, nephew and cousins. I keep thinking of all the wonderful things that we got to experience over the years. But in the past year, like everyone else, we didn’t get to see each other much, which makes these holidays much more important.
Time with family is time that can never be replaced. So, if you get the opportunity this year and you can stay safe, enjoy your family, enjoy your celebrations and hold them tightly in your memory.
But I’m saddened by those veterans who live in the hospitals, nursing homes or any other assisted living area and don’t have family to visit.
I think of them, and the first thing I have to remember is they are also my family. They may not be my flesh and blood, but they are my brothers and sisters. So, if you get a chance this holiday season, take a moment to think about those veterans who don’t have family or someone with whom to celebrate the holidays. If the opportunity arises, go visit them. Think about how special that would be to them, and remember it’s just another gift from your heart.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts. It is something that I know could make a difference in the life of a lonely veteran.
Stay warm, stay safe, my brothers and sisters. Let’s look forward to 2022 as the year to move forward and do great things again.