Today’s news:

Peace on Earth

In his speech in Oslo at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, President Barack Obama mixed optimism with realism as he defended the need to engage in just wars. “Evil does exist in the world,” he said “To say that force is sometimes necessary is not a call to cynicism. It is recognition of history, the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.”

His speech came a week after he asked Congress to increase the number of troops in Afghanistan. His words hit home for the hundreds of families in Queens waiting for loved ones to come home from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and those waiting for loved ones to ship out.

Our thoughts are with those soldiers and their families. Our holiday wish is that they all return home safely. We look forward to the day when even the most just war will not be necessary.

Santa’s Helpers at LGA

With all the bad news that grabs the headlines, from Tiger Woods to violent crime and the recession with its layoffs and inevitable foreclosures, it is easy to overlook the tremendous amount of good done in Queens.

We were reminded of that good last week when Santa and Mrs. Claus visited LaGuardia Airport to brighten the lives of children from Schneider Children’s Hospital.

With the help of the airport and US Airways, 40 children and their families took a fantasy flight to the North Pole. The jet loaded with kids went out the front gate of the hanger and taxied to the back. When they got there, they were greeted by Mr. and Mrs. Claus and an NYPD band playing Christmas music.

It was a gift to the children and their parents, who have endured the most difficult situations.

Hats off to the volunteers who have made the flight to St. Nick’s home a reality for the last 16 years. At this special time of year, they remind us of the power of goodness.

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