Today I am grateful for:
A Roanoke City manager and those below him who are showing an enthusiastic willingness to listen to the complaints about the shortcomings of the Roanoke Christmas parade, which offended so many last week.
They are working with Tina Workman of Downtown Roanoke Inc., which puts on the parade, to answer concerns (racism, overt commercialism, gun/military culture at Christmas) that have been expressed and to create a parade that can be enjoyed by everybody.
I have been invited to contribute to the conversation and my guess is that your thoughts would be welcome, too. You can e-mail Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tina at email@example.com. Please respond in the spirit of working to create a better, more inclusive, more appropriate Christmas parade and not as somebody with a chip on your shoulder. You'll get a lot farther being constructive.
Let me mention that I am not a Christian, but I respect this parade and those who take part in it and attend it. It is privately-run, so the government is not sponsoring a religious celebration here. If you are of another religion and want to have your own parade, my guess is the city will happily oblige.