A Season of Thankfulness

by Congressman Tom Cole

This week, Americans will gather around their dinner tables with family and loved ones to reflect upon and count our blessings. As one of our most unifying American traditions, it is important to join in collective gratitude.

Indeed, since the first pilgrims arrived on Plymouth Rock in 1621, our nation has long celebrated the tradition of Thanksgiving, including when America was still a young nation in 1789 and President George Washington declared “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer” and in the thick of the Civil War when President Abraham Lincoln reaffirmed in 1863 the need for this significant national observance every year. Many Thanksgivings later, it remains true that we live in a truly blessed nation with precious freedoms for which we should all be grateful.

Our nation is facing a tumultuous time, and we live in a challenging era. War is breaking out in Europe, the U.S. is in the midst of a recession and we are coming out of a very hard-fought and divisive election season. However, we still live in the greatest country in the world. We still operate in the freest society in the world, we are still the most secure country in the world and we still have the blessings of liberty in a way that would have astounded our Founding Fathers when they first embarked on the American experiment. Just as we have in the past, we will get through these hard times if we stick together as Americans.

Throughout this season of thankfulness, we should also be grateful that we can be with our families and loved ones during the holidays and remember those who cannot. While we thank our military members who could not be home, we should also think of our first responders who are always on duty to provide help in emergencies.

This Thanksgiving, we certainly thank the Lord for our family, friends and neighbors and most profoundly for the blessing of living in the United States of America. We are blessed for the sacrifices generations of Americans made before us to create, defend and improve upon this remarkable country. Happy Thanksgiving!

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