I will stay away from the heated debate over gun control for the time being and focus on a topic of equal importance.  Following the tragedies of this past week forces everyone to take stock and think about what is really important.  Having just received the local paper I was amazed and somewhat disturbed to note that there was absolutely no mention of the tragedy in Connecticut, only 3 days after 26 people lost their lives.  Business cannot be as usual.  Everyone’s life changed this past weekend and we need far more discussion and reflection than one day’s headlines.

What is important is that family, above all else is what makes America great.  The wonderful people of Newtown, CT are suffering at a level that most of us could never imagine.  What will keep them together and sane is the fact that this slice of Americana seems to have developed strong positive family memories to get them through.

As people who appreciate food, in many cases make their living with food, and spend most waking moments around food we share in incredible memories that bring us and keep us together.  As parents, sons and daughters, and friends we have an opportunity to create and share those memories.  Some of the greatest times we spend together involve breaking bread and as a result those memories are vivid through all of our senses.

When I see the Family Table slipping away, being replaced by fast food and microwave ovens I feel a deeper issue looming in the margins.  Without the Family Table, where are those memories.  Memories as we grow older bring a smile to our face and a warmth to our existence.  We owe it to our families and friends to create those memories.

Thanksgiving is not just the food on the table it is the memory of family members moving in and out of the kitchen all day as people share in the preparation of memories.  A great dinner is not just about well prepared restaurant food, it is all about the company you share it with and the memories that stay with us forever.

Who knows what impact sitting down with family over a home prepared meal can have on the mental health of young, confused people.  Who knows how significant that meal that you allow your young kids to help prepare will become in the future as they reflect back on their personal history.

There is little question that we need to address the issues of violence, mental health and gun control, but in the meantime we need to all hug our family, give them an apron and get them involved in creating memories as a family.  Learn from the people of Newtown – you never know what tomorrow will bring.

God bless the families who have been impacted by this tragedy and the far too many tragedies that have come before.