On the Thanksgiving holiday, we give thanks for all our blessings. Here in the United States, Thanksgiving has been a national holiday since the 1860s. Yes, in the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday of November Thanksgiving Day. I want to declare how very grateful I am for having been born in the Greatest Nation on God’s Green Earth, and to live in one of the most beautiful corners of that Nation, the Pacific Northwest.
My family and I really have everything we need for a comfortable, happy life. We have good jobs, so we can be productive members of society. Our Capitalist economic system here in the USA, even in spite of the onerous level of government regulation, gives us the freedom to work for one employer, rather than another; to quit our job and move to a new town to take a different job; to own, and sell, our primary residence when we move or grow out of it, or want to downsize; to save our money to buy something big like a car or a boat, from whichever source we choose; to go to our preferred store to buy our food and clothing; and to make any other economic decision for our own reasons. Any American with enough initiative can start and run his own business, and help it grow to employ others, and satisfy customers.
We are thankful for the Republic we have here, whose founding document, the Constitution, is the first, and the best ever, Law of the Land, laying out the most remarkable form of government ever invented. We just had another eventful National election-another peaceful (well, mostly), transfer of power from one President to the next. Never before in all of human history has any nation had such continuous, ongoing changes of administration with as few difficulties as the United States of America. We in America are the freest, most prosperous, most generous people in the world. Each American has at his or her fingertips the means to enlighten and enrich himself and his family. Every single American has public schools where he can learn what he needs to be a productive citizen, if he will take full advantage. Every American has the freedom to worship as he chooses, with whomever he chooses, or not. Americans have the freedom to band together with their fellows to try to influence their government, at all levels, or to run for office. I am also thankful for the all-volunteer military, whose members protect our Liberty, at home and in many places overseas. They truly are America’s Finest, and they truly reflect the spectrum of Americans-they are black, white, Asian, male and female, and they are the Brave among us.
The people of the United States of America, more than citizens of any other nation, give of the fruits of their labor, to support others who have less, both at home and abroad. America is the First Responder of the World, always at the ready to help out in a natural disaster anywhere. Even Americans of modest means find it in their pocketbooks and their hearts to donate to every conceivable form of charity. Religious Americans are the largest donors to charity in the world, and their support builds roads, schools, and wells in poorer countries everywhere. I am thankful that the American Spirit lives here, and I am proud to be a part of it.
This year at Thanksgiving, I will be grateful for our Founding Fathers, who bequeathed to us a most remarkable Nation, built upon an Idea: Liberty and Justice for All. May the United States of America be a beacon to the world forever!