Thursday, December 26, 2013

Home for the Holidays

No matter what your religion, at this time of year, a person wants to with family. “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays”, goes one popular seasonal tune.

There are some people who just can’t be home for the holidays, though.  One Christmas Eve, I was able to stop by the local Legion Club for a cup of coffee before heading over to the courthouse.  By good fortune, I sat across the table from one of the Greatest Generation:  Roy Kuhlman had flown a B-24 over Europe in World War Two.  I asked Roy if he’d ever been away from home over the holidays.  He told me he’d actually been a prisoner of war, after his bomber had been shot down in 1944.

Roy passed away this year.  I think about him, and all those who have served in the armed forces of this country, who have missed holidays, birthdays and more in service of our country.

I also have taken calls from law enforcement over the holidays.  They, too, are called away from their families on these important holidays.  They are often busy on those days, too.  I am told by folks in the liquor business that Christmas Eve has been the biggest day for sale of alcohol through the whole year.  This may result in driving under the influence, or alcohol-facilitated domestic abuse charges.  We all hope for a quiet night for our public servants, but often, it is a busy night, away from their families. 

Activity in court is normally lower this week.  The cases we do have, however, are often difficult and often sad.  Holiday parenting time disputes can arise at the 11th hour.  (Starting in October, I have a policy to ask folks in court on any child custody matter if they have the holidays worked out.  If not, we get it done right then.  The last-minute motions are just too hard on the parties, not to mention the children.  They also put a lot of pressure on a judge to make a snap decision on a most-important issue.)

As most of us gather with family and friends this holiday, let’s remember those who cannot be home for the holidays, because they are serving us and keeping us safe.

Merry Christmas.

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Next week:  Resolutions