On Thanksgiving Day my wife and I will host our family for the big Thanksgiving meal. It has been our tradition for most of our married life. We are thankful that we have the opportunity to have our daughter and her family with us for Thanksgiving. We know not everyone is so fortunate.
Prior to the big day we let everyone know that they will be called on at the table to let the group know what they are most thankful for. This gives them the time to consider what they will share with the family. It has always been great to hear from the grandchildren. Sometimes they surprise us.
I love that tradition. It has caused me to think for myself what I am most thankful for. Most of the time when I sit down to write a column it is to complain about something or someone. Let’s face it, there’s a lot to complain about. But, for today and for the season I choose to find things for which I am grateful.
Of course the first thing on my list is my wife, Linda. Next month we will celebrate fifty-two years of marriage. Every day of those years has been a blessing for me. Then of course my family. I love my life as a father and a grandfather.
I am thankful to be an American. How blessed we are to have the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I am thankful for the best military in the world and for what that deterrent means to this country. I am thankful for our political system which allows us to pick our leaders and to get rid of those who don’t get the job done. Not everyone is so fortunate.
I am thankful for the opportunity that I have to sit at my computer and rant about whatever I choose and to have those rants published. I never have to worry that there will be a knock at the door from some government official asking me to explain. Our freedom of expression is what makes our country possible.
And for religious freedom. There is no state religion. There is no requirement that I have to believe anything or anyone about anything if I choose not to. I am free to worship in any way that I choose and any God that I choose.
I am thankful for debate. You don’t have to believe anything I say and I don’t have to believe anything you say either. You and I are free to disagree. We are free to discuss and debate any issue. Which brings me to this point. How grateful we all should be that we have newspapers that have the journalistic integrity to publish all sides of issues. We have an opinion page where we all can not only express our thoughts but are encouraged to do so.
We truly are fortunate to be Americans. We can travel as far as our legs will carry us. Regardless of our origins, we have the freedom to rise to whatever level our talents and abilities take us.
So now we have a day set aside for thanksgiving. Don’t call it turkey day. Call it what it is, Thanksgiving Day. Be thankful for what you have, for your health, your liberty, and your freedom. Be thankful that you live in a country where freedom reigns today and everyday.