The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

November 22, 2012

Give thanks for what we have


The Tribune-Democrat

JOHNSTOWN — It’s Thanksgiving Day.

Sadly, like so many of our holidays, the true reason for celebration often gets lost in all of the things that surround the day.

Today isn’t about turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.

It’s not about watching football on the sofa after eating too much of all of the above.

And it’s not about getting ready to start Christmas shopping on Black Friday (or even today, for those retailers that are opening this evening).

Thanksgiving is – or should be – about remembering all the wonderful things that we have in our world and giving thanks for them.

For many of us, we gather with family and friends and take part in some, or all, of the Thanksgiving traditions we mentioned earlier. In doing so, we hope you keep some of these things in mind:

-- Be thankful for the brave men and women who can’t be home with their families because they are serving to protect us. While we’re watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade on TV, they are thousands of miles from home, marching through some of the world’s most dangerous places.

-- Be thankful for our nation and our freedoms. The recent presidential election divided our country, pitting friends, neighbors and even family members against each other in political discourse. And even though hard feelings and disappointment still linger for many, our elections were peaceful. There was no rioting in the streets, no violence and no overthrowing of the government. Our revolutions take place at the ballot box, not on the battleground.

-- Be thankful that our region has been spared the worst of Superstorm Sandy. As we watch our neighbors along the East Coast try to recover from the damage done and put their homes and lives back together, we must remember how fortunate we were to escape much of Mother Nature’s wrath.

-- Be thankful for the great and giving people who surround us. Whether it was local fire departments or grocery stores pitching in to help those victims of Superstorm Sandy or the soccer players suiting up for all-star games that raised money to bring Christmas toys to needy children or the restaurants that have vowed to feed the hungry today, there are so many in our communities that are willing to give back to the less fortunate. They line up, with open hearts and open wallets, to aid their fellow humans.

-- Be thankful for today. Don’t waste it. It will be gone before you know it.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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