The tradition of giving thanks that we honor today began with a small band of immigrants who had suffered incredible hardship and had lost many of their friends and family members. Yet they gathered with American Indians who had befriended them to give thanks for the blessings they received.
Since then, even at times in our history when the outlook was bleak, Americans have regularly set aside a day to give thanks and celebrate the bounty that exists here. During our darkest hours, we still found reasons to be thankful and that remains the case today. Here are a few reasons we see for giving thanks in 2010.
✔ We’ve just completed our biennial exercise in self-governance with the Nov. 2 election. While many campaign ads and the candidate sniping were certainly annoying, we successfully made it through the election — and approved a partial change in the national power structure — with nary a charge of fraud and no violence or armed resistance. We’ve been doing this continuously for 221 years. For most other nations during that time, transitions in power have come only at gun or bayonet point.
✔ The economy is hardly booming, but it continues to roll along. Millions of people will head to the stores tomorrow to make purchases for Christmas, demonstrating that Americans still have a significant amount of disposable income. Also, weekly unemployment claims dropped last week to the lowest level since July 2008, one indication that the employment picture may be improving. Mesa County sales tax numbers have also shown a slight uptick. Prognostications for the coming year still indicate slow economic growth, but growth nonetheless.
✔ The world remains a very dangerous place, as demonstrated by the events on the Korean Peninsula this week, the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the continuing threat to this country from terrorists. But we’re thankful that there are so many people in this country — especially young people — who are willing to put their lives in harm’s way in the service of this country and to protect the freedoms we hold dear.
✔ Finally, winter weather notwithstanding, we’re thankful that we live in western Colorado, with its glorious landscape and the bountiful opportunities for outdoor activities, as well as the countless individuals and groups willing to give of their own time and resources to help others.
Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers.