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Thoughts and Transitions

I am thankful.

The hot air preceding the election has blown through the local area, the state and the nation giving way to the relief of the cool autumn breezes associated with November.

I am thankful to be able to turn on the television and not be bombarded with one dirt-slinging advertisement after another. Politics on the state and national level can be so frustrating. Actually, there are numerous adjectives one could use to describe the political scene and I have voiced the majority of them while watching state and national campaigns unfold in recent weeks.

I am thankful that the campaigns of local candidates in Carroll County were conducted with civility and respect. I congratulate the winners and pray for consolation for those who were unsuccessful. To call them losers would be erroneous. All were winners for their willingness to serve, to put their hopes, dreams and finances on the line and take a stand for their beliefs.

I am thankful for Founding Fathers with foresight who established a government in the 18th century that allows us in the 21st century to exercise the freedom to vote when November comes around. It puts the power of choice in the hands of the everyday citizen and gives us an individual voice in our nation’s destiny.

I am thankful for the millions who have put their dreams and futures on hold to serve our nation’s military to purchase at high cost the freedoms we Americans enjoy today. I think it is appropriate that Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving Day are observed in the same season for we Americans owe with gratitude our very way of life to the sacrifices of our military brothers and sisters, living and dead, who have served to ensure that “that government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth,” as President Abraham Lincoln so eloquently stated when dedicating a cemetery for veterans in Gettysburg, Pa.

I am thankful for all those in uniform today—including my son who proudly serves in the United States Marine Corps—who stand in the gap to protect our way of life around the world in these perilous days. I hope that we all will make time to attend a Veteran’s Day commemoration, take time to thank a veteran for his/her service to our country, and especially to thank Almighty God for preserving us a nation.

Thanksgiving Day has become almost an afterthought between Halloween and the commercialization of the Christmas shopping season. It began as a day set aside to reflect on God’s goodness for all the blessings He bestows, from the reaping of the harvest to good health and material prosperity. In modern times the holiday has become secularized to a large extent. We feast to the point of gluttony, enjoy televised parades and sports and grab up all the newspaper ads we can for the onslaught of the Christmas shopping season on the day following.

We must not forget to pause and remember the Giver of our blessings and give Him His due. We must also be grateful for those who have made a difference in our lives and made us richer by their friendships. It is a simple act to say “thank you” but it becomes a powerful expression when spoken from the heart.

I am thankful.