So much for which to be thankful
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This column was originally published Nov. 25).
This Thanksgiving is unlike any Americans living today have ever observed. We are in a war against an invisible enemy.
Yet we have so much for which to be thankful.
We see blessings all around us, as the vast majority of people in our communities have donned face coverings while in public. Scientists tell us doing so gives the wearer some protection — but it’s far more helpful in preventing those who have COVID-19, but without many symptoms, from spreading it to others.
We can be thankful for the doctors, nurses, ambulance technicians, pharmacy staffers and other health care professionals who long ago lost count of the number of lives they have saved during the epidemic.
We recognize, too, others in health care — the custodians, cooks and others behind the scenes who keep the machinery of health care humming.
Our thanksgiving is for overwhelmed nursing home staffs, often stricken by grief but doing all in their power to protect our aged loved ones.
And we are indebted to public health workers, many nearly exhausted — but who refuse to stand down.
Thankfulness extends to store clerks who ensure that when we need — or just want — something from their shelves, we can get it, even though their service means coming in contact daily with hundreds of people who may be carrying the virus.
We can be grateful for law enforcement personnel and firefighters who continue to rush toward the very dangers from which we flee.
For those of faith, there is comfort in clergy and congregations who have found ways to prove that church is not a building.
Our nation itself is cause for thanksgiving. As a people we are strong enough to spend trillions of dollars helping those affected financially by the epidemic — and to rewrite the rulebooks on vaccine development.
We can be grateful to the educators who in many ways have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help our children — even if that means taking risks with their own health.
We forget sometimes that the traditional first Thanksgiving was celebrated only after a winter in which half the settlers at Plymouth perished, many of starvation.
We fail to note that the first official Thanksgiving was declared during the Civil War.
Thanksgiving never was intended as a celebration of plenty but rather, as a time of remembering our blessings in times of trial.
This year, we can be grateful both to the Lord above for the uncountable blessings we have enjoyed from him — and to so many of our fellow human beings.
Mike Myer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.