About the Author: Josh Glazeroff serves as the visa chief at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India.
I actually started an entry about Thanksgiving last year. It began, “Yes, there are turkeys in India! Well, at least at the American Embassy…” We had plans to have friends (including a family of six who drove to India from Sweden) over to share this very American tradition in a very different place (the “Pilgrims” here tend to follow a very different path). We had the turkey, the potatoes, the green beans, and the pumpkin pie. We also had our families far away, and when I called mine in the United States, I got a very panicked, “Are you ok?” One of the worst terrorist incidents India has ever faced took place over a period including Thanksgiving 2008. The 26th of November (26/11) will always be remembered as an infamous day here (the parallel with 9/11 is not coincidental) for the events in which terrorists attacked a series of locations across Mumbai. Over 170 (including 6 Americans) were killed and over 300 were injured. Many of us at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi rushed to the office to do what we could. We set aside our personal plans and our time with our families, because our job here is to help Americans overseas. Our colleagues in Mumbai worked long hours providing assistance to those in the area, comforting the grieving, and consoling the survivors. For all of us, it remains a powerful reminder how fragile things can be.
So this year, wherever in the world we are, as we Americans think of all for which we are grateful, I especially give thanks for my own family, the lives we lead, and the joys we share.