Thanksgiving 2008

I can’t think of a Thanksgiving in my lifetime that has been so wrought with a national sense of economic insecurity. The circulars in both daily newspapers seem to be offering unnaturally-low prices, so low, in fact, it prompts me to wonder what calamities will befall us if Friday is not a big shopping day. Anecdotal reports of job cuts are growing as companies grapple to deal with a rapidly changing business climate. Stories that Al Qaeda is targeting Amtrak’s rail corridor, used by so many travelers to get to their loved ones for the holiday, only magnify the sense of unease.

Thanksgiving, like July 4, is a purely American holiday with a purpose behind it — allowing us to give thanks for the blessings we do have. I think of my neighbor relaying to me his personal story of coming to our country after being a slave laborer in Nazi work camps.

Even as these times evoke — but do not emulate — the terrible period America experienced in the 1930s, we remember solace exists in community, friends and family. These bonds are unbreakable — although it may take a holiday for us to recognize them.

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