Today, recall our freedoms and blessings

It may seem sometimes like there are few things in our lives that can take our minds off the troubles we face in our day-to-day world.

But this time of year, let’s reflect not on the harshness or struggles, but on the blessings — both great and small — bestowed on us all.

Joining with family and friends today likely will bring opportunity to give thanks for the present union or reunion. There will be time to prayerfully recall those who are no longer with us, and to look forward to the hope of the future.

Centuries ago, the first Thanksgiving, of course, was organized by the Pilgrims to give thanks for new-found civil and religious liberties and to share that gratitude with their new Native American neighbors.

Those civil and religious liberties that remain ours today certainly are something for which we can give praise and thanks. Sadly, we often experience divisive behaviors and hatred on issues whether they be politics or racial and ethnic divide or socioeconomic matters. Still, we must keep in mind that we live in a nation where we enjoy those freedoms bestowed on us by our founding fathers.

The constitution they forged centuries ago allows us still today the right to spend time attending a church service in the religion of our choice, to choose between spending the day at home with family or heading out to the shopping mall this evening, and the First Amendment gives Americans the right to choose and speak uninhibited our thoughts on political issues of the day and media outlets like your Tribune Chronicle the right to report on them freely.

Whether you mark today’s holiday by attending a church service, by gathering with family around the table with delicious food and fine wine, by gathering around the TV to watch football or the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade or by heading out to the mall later this evening, hopefully it will be with those you love.

Hopefully you will take pause to remember and pray for those not as fortunate, including the poor, the sick and the lonely, and then to give a prayer of thanksgiving for the many freedoms and blessings we as Americans enjoy every day.

Happy Thanksgiving.