Times West Virginian
We Americans, from our earliest beginnings, have observed a time of Thanksgiving to be shared with our families, friends and neighbors. The settlers, having no other neighbors, were hospitable to the Indians and included them in their celebration of gratitude.
The modern Thanksgiving season primarily focuses around the family and has become the most traveled holiday of the year. There remains a desire to return to home and family, no matter the distance that separates. Highways, airlines, railways and all modes of transportation are filled with busy movement toward memories and home.
We all would agree that Americans have much for which to be thankful. Our standard of living is second to none. The freedoms we often take for granted guarantee the rights that long ago became the bedrock of all we stand for and believe.
Often, in the present turmoil and utter confusion of world affairs, we may be tempted to become discouraged and ponder the personal possibility of withdrawing from the processes of democracy and the practice of gratitude for our citizenship in this great country.
The realization that our country, by our vote and participation, becomes what we want it to be often escapes our rationale of personal responsibility and purpose. Gratitude and thanksgiving are action words that only become truly effective and meaningful by our actions.
Although some so-called intellectuals would differ, America has been truly blessed by God. We as citizens have also been blessed to call America our homeland. The daily well-being we enjoy is the envy of nearly all other nations. Our freedoms, dearly purchased by the honorable and dedicated sacrifices of our veterans, remain a source of daily blessing.
Our long-ago instilled national personality of charity and compassion toward each other and to those in need anywhere in the world still identifies our continuing heritage of sharing our blessings.
With all our faults and failures, Americans still consider anyone in trouble, at any location on the globe, to be our neighbors. And by this definition, we gladly share our abundance, technology and logistical capabilities in these times of desperate need.
This Thanksgiving 2012 is one of global conflict and uncertainties. But as “Old Glory” still proudly and briskly snaps in freedom’s breeze, we must take time as grateful Americans to once more count our blessings and offer a prayer of thanksgiving to the one who has prospered and allowed us to become that “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
No other nation or society has more to be thankful for this Thanksgiving 2012 than we do. May God continue to wonderfully bless America, our land of the free and home of the brave.
— Elton Slusser