That’s what Thanksgiving is all about, a uniquely American holiday that was born in the Judeo-Christian heritage upon which the country was established, that has been ordained by Congress and that has been proclaimed by the President.
Other cultures and other countries do recognize times of thanksgiving, but only in the United States has what is considered a solemn occasion been celebrated with feasting rather than fasting, with joy rather than remorse, with anticipation rather than reflection.
Even in the country’s most difficult times — the struggles for simple survival by the earliest colonists, the dark days of the American Revolution when the very survival of the Continental Army was in question, the Civil War years when the future of a United States was in doubt, the early years of World War II when the forces of Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany were in ascendancy — there was a time for Thanksgiving.
With each passing generation there have been new challenges and new threats to the United States, and with each passing generation, there has also been time to celebrate Thanksgiving. With each passing generation, there has been much for which to give thanks. We remember some of those in our past, the Edward Winslows who led the first Thanksgiving in 1621, the George Washingtons who gave thanks while helping to establish the country, the Abraham Lincolns who offered thanks while trying to put the country back together, the Franklin Roosevelts who proclaimed a Thanksgiving amid a seemingly relentless tide of tyranny. But those men did not stand alone. Too often it is too easy to overlook the unknowable individuals who answered the call and stood fast to first build, then keep alive a country founded on a concept, not an ideology. They were with us then; they are with us now.
Thanksgiving 2007, a time to give thanks:
• For people like Rep. John Shadegg of Arizona, who each year, in vain it must seem, continues to have the courage to introduce to the House of Representatives a bill called the Enumerated Powers Act, a bill that requires that “Each act of Congress shall contain a concise and definite statement of the Constitutional Authority relied upon for the enactment of each portion of that act.”
Shadegg’s courageous stand is generally ignored, especially by his fellow members of Congress who are willing to ignore, almost immediately after mouthing it, their oath of office — to defend and protect the Constitution — while pursuing legislation designed to enhance themselves while creating an ever-growing federal government with ever-growing powers designed to abrogate the very Constitution they have sworn to uphold.
• For people like Jim Gilchrist, founder of the Minuteman Project, an organization designed to help the United States remain a sovereign nation. Since the project started, Gilchrist has been attacked by all manner of anti-Americans, particularly those masquerading as Democrat members of the U.S. House and Senate, by the politically correct leftists who either don’t understand history or who actually hate the United States, and by Republicans who are following an agenda based on principles alien to conservatism.
Still, Gilchrist has persevered, and his courageous stand has sparked a reawakening of what it means to be an American, resulting in the stunning defeat of various amnesty measures promoted by the governing elitists who are so unconcerned with the citizens they govern.
• For people like Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell, two of the most brilliant economists in the United States. Both are teachers, both are believers in individual liberty, both are believers in free markets, and both are opposed to economic mircro-management by governments. Both men are also black, and conservative, and for that reason, usually denigrated by those espousing greater governmental control of both the economy and society.
• For organizations like the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, which most recently brought to light, and stopped, the Stalinist re-education program at the University of Delaware, a program which was, intentionally or not, patterned after Stalin’s pogroms. As more and more colleges and universities have become less about learning and more about indoctrination by establishing speech and behavior codes that are in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution, FIRE has been fighting back, and the politically correct philosophy which intolerantly opposes anything not bounded by its Communist roots is finally being re-examined in the light of day for the totalitarianism it really is.
• For people like Sen. Joe Lieberman, who has long recognized that his country is more important than his political persuasion. He has forthrightly stood on the side of the American military while many of his Democrat colleagues have tried to undermine that military; he has stood on the side of national defense while many of his Democrat colleagues have been willing accomplices to America’s enemies and their effort to destroy the country. He has stood against the attacks of his party and its attempts to unseat him.
• For the men and women of the American armed forces, who, like their fathers and grandfathers and great-grandfathers and forebears back to the founding of the country, will once again be standing to protect and preserve the country that they serve against the enemies who would destroy it, and who, like their forebears, will be standing guard this day while those they protect enjoy this day of thanks.
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University of Delaware