POST-GAZETTE - Res Publica

Giving Thanks for Our Blessings

by David Trumbull

November 17, 2006

As I write this column I am in sunny Hollywood, California, for the 2006 Robert Benchley Humor Prize Award Ceremony. Our winner this year, W. Bruce Cameron, may be known to many of you as the author of Eight Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. For a New Englander it is a bit disorienting to be in southern California in November. I have exchanged our damp Northeastern chill for bright, drive-the-convertible-with-the-top-down weather. But even here, the familiar images of turkeys, remind me that I'll be returning in time for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is not as big a holiday here as in Massachusetts. As, indeed, I have observed that wherever I visit in America, nowhere is Thanksgiving so big a holiday as in its New England birthplace. But celebrated it is throughout the Union. And as we prepare to meet with family and friends to feast and thank divine providence for another year of health, wealth, and happiness, I direct our readers to the words on our President, George W. Bush, in his 2005, Thanksgiving Proclamation:

Thanksgiving Day is a time to remember our many blessings and to celebrate the opportunities that freedom affords. Explorers and settlers arriving in this land often gave thanks for the extraordinary plenty they found. And today, we remain grateful to live in a country of liberty and abundance. We give thanks for the love of family and friends, and we ask God to continue to watch over America.

This Thanksgiving, we pray and express thanks for the men and women who work to keep America safe and secure. Members of our Armed Forces, State and local law enforcement, and first responders embody our Nation's highest ideals of courage and devotion to duty. Our country is grateful for their service and for the support and sacrifice of their families. We ask God's special blessings on those who have lost loved ones in the line of duty.

We also remember those affected by the destruction of natural disasters. Their tremendous determination to recover their lives exemplifies the American spirit, and we are grateful for those across our Nation who answered the cries of their neighbors in need and provided them with food, shelter, and a helping hand. We ask for continued strength and perseverance as we work to rebuild these communities and return hope to our citizens.

We give thanks to live in a country where freedom reigns, justice prevails, and hope prospers. We recognize that America is a better place when we answer the universal call to love a neighbor and help those in need. May God bless and guide the United States of America as we move forward.