We have many reasons to be thankful

Published 8:14 pm Tuesday, November 23, 2010

During the Troy City Council meeting on Tuesday, member Johnny Witherington added his voice to the chorus of Happy Thanksgiving wishes offered by the council members.

But in doing so, he sought to drive home a point.

“I’ve said this before at council meetings, but I think it’s important to remember. Way back when the pilgrims who came to America had their first Thanksgiving it was rough,” he said. “The dug nine times more graves that first year than huts they built to live in … they didn’t have much. In spite of that, they set aside a time to give thanks for what they did have.”

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And that is just what Americans will do on Thursday, as we celebrate the annual Thanksgiving holiday.

Like those first pilgrims, we’ve had a rough year. Economic challenges; political upheaval; oil spills and weather catastrophes. Some of us have lost our jobs; others, our homes; still others have lost loved ones. We have grown weary of some things, wiser in many areas.

But through it all we must remain thankful. For if we pause and take stock, we will see we have much more worthy of thanks:

• The freedom in America to worship as we wish, whether Christian or atheist, Muslim or Jew;

• The freedom to speak our minds, even if that leads to the political discourse that wearies us at times;

• The opportunity to build a better life for ourselves and our children, despite the challenges of the economy in recent years, America is still the land of opportunity, for those willing to work and invest in their future;

• For our families, friends and loved ones, who remind us of the true treasures in our lives.

• And for the freedom to “change our stars,” if we are willing.

America is a land of opportunity, founded on the hopes and hardwork of those pilgrims three hundred years ago and nurtured on the resiliance, the faith and the democracy that has grown.

So, like the wise councilman said, in spite of it all, we are reminded to give thanks, for we have plenty of blessings in our lives.