United In Thanksgiving
November 26, 2006
This is a special season of Thanksgiving. During these past days, many families gathered together to join in giving thanks. And the memories of such Thanksgivings past have become a valued cherished treasure. This is a special time to remember our many blessings and to celebrate the opportunities that freedom affords.
Early settlers, arriving in this land, gathered together as families and neighbors to give thanks for the extraordinary plenty they found. And today, we remain grateful to live in a country of liberty, freedom and abundance. We give thanks for the love of family and friends, for the support of our neighbors, and for the opportunity to be supportive of others. And we give thanks that we live in a free society where the individual is respected and giving thanks individually or collectively is honored. And that is a valued strength of America.
This Thanksgiving season we express thanks for the men and women who work to keep America safe, strong and secure. Members of our Armed Forces, State and local law enforcement agencies, and first responders... firefighters, health, emergency and disaster personnel... ALL of them embody our Nation's highest ideals of courage and devotion to duty. Our country and each of our individual communities are grateful for their service and for the support and sacrifice of their families. We ask that a special blessing be on those who have lost loved ones in the line of duty. We honor them and cherish their lost loved ones and render our heart-felt "thanksgiving."
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 that we ALL 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.
Nearly a half century ago, President Dwight Eisenhower proclaimed Thanksgiving as a time when Americans should celebrate "the plentiful yield of our soil...the beauty of our land...the preservation of those ideals of liberty and justice that form the basis of our national life." Now, following a long and somewhat bruising mid-term election, we are reminded of Eisenhower's hopeful words which point to our collective obligation to defend the enduring principles of freedom that form the foundation of our Republic. And the opportunity and the freedom to come together as Americans, to join our hands in unity, and to speak in one voice our praise of "THANKSGIVING" ...that is a cherished gift and valued treasure never to be taken for granted! That is how we see it FROM OUR PERPECTIVE.