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Being thankful for the foundation and bounties of Thanksgiving

Written By | Nov 21, 2017

MISSOURI, November 21, 2017  – Thanksgiving is truly a celebration of domestic life centered on the home and family. It is also a time for America to be thankful for the bounty we have in this country.

It is easy to forget how fortunate we are. That despite the ongoing political wars that separate Americans and too often family members, the republic is strong. And for this we must be thankful.

Thankful for the Foundation of Freedom

Flickr/Wil C. Fry

Our ancestors knew what America would one day be. The Pilgrims who celebrated the first Thanksgiving came to this country for freedom, and our forefathers who wrote our Constitution cemented that freedom.

Freedom of religion. Freedom of assembly. Freedom of speech. And so many other freedoms that people around the world simply do not have.

Americans are so fortunate for the freedoms we have. Be thankful and celebrate them on Thanksgiving Day.

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Thankful for the Foundation of Family

( domain)

At a more intimate level, we are thankful for our families.

As you prepare to indulge in your families traditional Thanksgiving meal, take a moment to look around the table. Remind yourself of how lucky you are not only for the turkey, stuffing, pie and ice cream, but also for the person sitting next to you.

And the one sitting across from you.

Be thankful for them, for their quirks and for their strengths and even for their weaknesses. They are all unique and special, and how blessed are you to have them at your table!

Thankful for the Foundation of Tradition

Recent Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, featuring The Rockettes. (Credit: Jacquie Kubin)

Looking back over 80-something years, I see how Thanksgiving has remained constant throughout the time. Roles change – the person who used to play childish games, refusing to eat vegetables now brings their own children to the feast to coax them to eat green beans.

Those who used to plan and prepare the meals now supervise as “official food consultants,” while their now adult children do the heavy lifting. Football still takes place on Thanksgiving, only now there are different uniforms, more technology, and different experts giving commentary.

I remember eating Thanksgiving when I was in the Navy. We were far from home, yet we had the traditional Thanksgiving menu, topped off with cigars.

Thankful for the Foundation of our Military

Troops giving thanks in Afghanistan – Image courtesy

As you eat your meal and beam at your family, take a moment to remember our service members who are sharing turkey with their military families, but not with their friends and family, so that they can keep us safe.

We still take pictures, although now we use digital cameras and camcorders. The photos now go on the family web pages and Facebook so those far and wide can enjoy.

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Thankful for the Foundation of a long life


Now that I am a senior, I can finally see the true secret ingredient for Thanksgiving. It is the same today as it was 80 years ago. It was the same ingredient on a Navy ship or in my own kitchen or visiting friends and family. That ingredient is love. It is the common thread that binds us together and makes Thanksgiving memorable.

Love makes the days worth living. It makes Thanksgiving special. On this day, give thanks not only for our freedoms but also for the blessing of friends and family. A day of togetherness rekindles family unity and creates memories we can re-live all year.

Thanksgiving is the day in which we must always remember the purpose of the holiday. Take time to acknowledge the blessing of living in a country that is free. Celebrate the freedom of religion, a sacred freedom enshrined in the very founding of our country. And celebrate each other. Give thanks for the joy of family and friends.

That is what we are truly thankful for.

Have a very Happy and blessed Thanksgiving-

Charles Vandegriff, Sr.

Charles spent a fifty-four-year career in technology, retiring at the director level from three major corporations. Followed by three-plus years as a freelance columnist, he has published three books, made over three hundred speeches to senior organizations, and been involved in numerous radio interviews and one television commercial. He has been married for sixty-five years, and has four children, seven grandchildren and thirteen great-grand children. Charles is also a Navy veteran.