EDITORíS DESK: Thanksgiving and the Honor Tree

       Thanksgiving, as probably 9 zillion ink-slingers have complained, is not celebrated quite as profoundly as it was during earlier days of our land. Sure, kids and government employees get a nice holiday, which undoubtedly makes them thankful. But its status as a special time of the year that must be appreciated before turning thoughts to Christmas has gone the way of the 2- meg floppy. In big stores these days, Halloween constitutes the pre-Christmas season. Thanksgiving has evolved into, well... turkey and football?
       OK, enough preamble. I didn't set out to be ink-slinger 9 zillion and one. What got my mind on Thanksgiving - other than the fact that its darn Thursday date forced us to publish a day early this week - is the interesting and refreshing way that the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) merchants group is using the holiday weekend this year.
       As people driving through Old Town at night have probably noticed, that tall blue spruce at 25th and Colorado has been laced with red, white and blue lights and an American flag-laden star on top. Titled an Honor Tree, it simultaneously conjures thoughts of both Christmas and patriotism. Where does Thanksgiving fit into that? Simple enough. One of OCCA's goals with the tree is to link up with military families, either stationed in the area or residing on the Westside, to offer them the chance to bestow ornaments onto this specially designated tree in honor of loved ones who are, will be or already have been risking the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of the rest of us.
       Still not clear? When the lighting ceremony for the tree is held Saturday, Nov. 27, there's no reason to think it's a fluke that Thanksgiv-ing is just two days past. How about perfect timing? Christmas. Patriotism. And a chance to say thank you to those who deserve it most.

- K.J.