We have ample reasons to give thanks this year

As our readers gather with family and friends on this holiday, we know most will pause to recognize the many wonderful people, events and amenities in their lives, and to give thanks to their God for those blessings.

We at The Daily Sentinel want to publicly state a few of the many things that cause us to be thankful.

First, of course, is the fact that we just celebrated our 120th anniversary this month. In an electronic age when many newspapers are cutting back, shifting exclusively to the Internet or shutting down entirely, we feel privileged to be able to continue to serve our readers in the same medium that I.N. Bunting used when he founded this paper in 1893.

And we continue to seek other means with new technologies to serve our customers.

These 120 years of operation would not have been possible without those customers — our loyal readers and advertisers who have continued to use the Sentinel in good times and bad.

We are truly thankful for all of you.

According to the latest weather forecasts, this Thanksgiving will be another gorgeous autumn day in western Colorado. We have seen some effects from the storm that has pounded a large swath of the country over the past week and has snarled holiday travel. But the snow our mountains received is setting the stage for a great ski season, and, combined with rain and snow here in the valley, it is helping to provide needed moisture for next year.

We are thankful to live in a place where, despite the vagaries of the weather, we still have a multitude of days marked by bright sunshine every season, days that beckon people to the great outdoors and stunning scenery this area offers.

Further afield, we give thanks that fewer Americans died in military combat this year than any time since 2006. Through this week, according to the Operation Enduring Freedom website which tracks casualties in Afghanistan, 112 American military personnel have died as a result of hostile action in that country. That’s too many, but it’s fewer than half the 321 who died in combat throughout 2012.

We also thank all those serving in uniform for their service and sacrifice for this country.

The unfortunate flip side of those figures, especially as the United States prepares to withdraw most of its forces next year, is that the number of Afghan military personnel and police officers killed in combat this year has increased dramatically.

Finally, although the political battles — locally, statewide and nationally — often seem more acrimonious and filled with bitter partisanship than ever, we are thankful we still live in a country where our differences are worked out in elected bodies, at the ballot box and through our judicial system. We have not resorted to the violent political battles or suffered under the hands of tyrannical dictators, as have the citizens of so much of the world. We are thankful for our Constitution and Bill of Rights that protect our freedoms.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.


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MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR! God is good and I thank him for ALL of my blessings.

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