TURKEY GALORE BUT NO RESPITE
The more than 5,000 men and women aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt in the Northern Arabian Sea will be dining on turkey and all the trimmings this Thanksgiving Day.
But there'll be absolutely no let up from their prosecution of the war against Afghanistan's Taliban extremists and the al Qaida network of suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden.
Since setting sail from Norfolk, Va., on Sept. 17 to take part in Operation Enduring Freedom, the crew of the Roosevelt has had just two days off from work shifts that stretch 12 hours or more.
According to the ship's S-2, or food service department, empty stomach's craving the tradition meal on America's premier holiday will not go wanting. The decorations -- crepe paper balls hanging from ceilings, paper cutouts of Pilgrims and pumpkins -- are already on display in mess rooms about the ship. And the ship's 40 cooks have begun work on the feast.
For Thanksgiving dinner, 3,000 pounds of turkey will be available for the food lines. So too will be 1,300 pounds of honey-baked ham, 2,100 pounds of rolled rib-eye and 650 pumpkin pies. There will also be enough potatoes, vegetables and cranberry sauce for the whole crew.
The ship is also expecting heavy e-mail traffic on Thursday between sailors and their families, and heavy use of the six or seven direct-dial, $1-a-minute satellite telephones for calling home.
(Thanks to UPI's Richard Tomkins aboard the U.S.S. Roosevelt)
A REALLY BIG FLAG
The northwest Florida town of Destin has created what may be one of the biggest "thank you cards" in the world for local military personnel. It's a one-acre flag painted on the roof of a dry storage marina, with stripes large enough to accommodate a Greyhound bus and 17-foot-high letters that read: "THANK YOU" and "GOD BLESS AMERICA."
Created by environmental artist Wyland and a team of community volunteers, the flag is directly in the flight path of Eglin Air Force Base. It took three weeks and more than 500 gallons of paint to complete and was officially unveiled Tuesday.
Air force pilots say the flag is visible from miles in the sky, and serves as a constant reminder of the ideals they are fighting for.
"The first time I saw it, I thought, "It's the most beautiful flag I've ever seen," said F-16 pilot Col. C.D. Moore, 46th Operations Group Commander at Eglin, whose training runs take him over the Mid-Bay Marina building every day. "Given where we are right now in the world situation, preparing people to go overseas, and preparing the tools for front line fighters, it's a reminder of the bond that the military and the community have. That we're in this together."
Pope John Paul II is expected to use the Internet to publish an official document for the first time Thursday.
Computerworld quotes a Vatican spokeswoman saying the pope would click the "Send" button during a special ceremony for the delivery of his apostolic exhortation "Ecclesia in Oceania (The Church in Oceania)." The document summarizes the conclusions of a synod of bishops from Oceania who met at the Vatican in 1998.
The pope normally delivers such documents in person, but he chose not to travel to the Pacific region this time. "The idea is not to save money on paper or postal costs because paper versions of the document will be sent as well," the spokeswoman said. "Instead of delivering the document by hand, he will be giving it virtually over the Internet. Oceania is a long way away, and this saves him the journey."
(Thanks to UPI's Joe Warminsky in Washington)
REASONS TO CELEBRATE TODAY:
WEDNESDAY: The 29th annual World Hello Day is today.
This is Buss Und Bettag, or Repentance Day, in Germany.
And it's World Television Day, as observed by the United Nations.
(Thanks to Chase's 2001 Calendar of Events)
BY THE WAY...
Harpo Marx -- one of the famed Marx Brothers -- played what musical instrument?
Marx, born on this date in 1893, played the harp.