Boy in a salute.

I have been cleaning the parts of my self-cleaning oven that do not get self-cleaned in preparation for the Jewish spring holiday of Pesach (Passover). And, while this is not a very fun activity on a day off from work, I did realize that I am immensely grateful for the freedom in the United States to be able to celebrate Pesach openly without fear of government reprisals.

And this thought led me to being grateful for our U.S. military men and women who protect this freedom from attack by other nations. The reason our troops were uppermost in my mind?

As a fan of the TV drama series “Downton Abbey” I had just finished reading the two nonfiction books by the Countess of Carnarvon — LADY ALMINA AND THE REAL DOWNTON ABBEY: THE LOST LEGACY OF HIGHCLERE CASTLE and LADY CATHERINE, THE EARL, AND THE REAL DOWNTON ABBEY. Lady Almina’s time covers the First World War and Lady Catherine’s time covers the Second World War — the descriptions of the horrors of both wars are not spared by the author.

And, as I scrubbed my oven, I thought about what the world would be like today if Nazi Germany had won WWII. I wondered whether, even in the U.S. now, would there be Jews free to celebrate the holiday of Pesach.

As Pesach is a holiday that celebrates the Jews’ freedom from bondage in Egypt, it is definitely an appropriate time to give thanks to the active duty men and women protecting our freedoms in the U.S. It is equally important to say thanks to the veterans who have previously served.

P.S. If you would like to know about the holiday of Pesach, click here to read this chapter from my Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION.

© 2015 Miller Mosaic LLC

Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller) has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks, including HOW TO SUCCEED IN HIGH SCHOOL AND PREP FOR COLLEGE and the romantic suspense spy thriller CIA FALL GUY, as well as newly written books not yet published. She can be reached at pzmiller@gmail.com

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