Thanksgiving has long been a favorite holiday for many people, a day for sharing time, laughs and food with family and friends, without the commercialization and pressures of Christmas.
After all, it is the holiday that is completely devoted to giving thanks, to gratitude.
We as a nation, state and community have so much for which to be thankful. As we gather for familial celebrations, let us remember that.
Many more families — most often where everyone is vaccinated — are going to be able to gather safely this year after being forced to skip the celebration last year. Many folks are still reluctant to travel, and being in a large group is still daunting, with the coronavirus still lurking and the pandemic still a danger. But family celebrations are coming back in a big way.
Part of our gratitude is the hope that our friends and loved ones are happy, safe and protected. We are healing, and we must try to be a source of healing for others.
We now are moving toward some kind of new normal. The impact of this pandemic will likely be felt for a generation, changing our lives in ways we can only dimly perceive now. But we are adapting. Humans always do.
Last year at this time, we were shocked to know that 250,000 Americans had died of COVID-19. Since then, the death toll has tripled to 750,000, and we are almost beyond shock at this point.
We must always remember that those who have been lost were the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters, best friends. Their relatives will be sitting down to dinner today with a vacant place at the table. Our hearts go out to the families of all the people who were lost this year, regardless of the cause, here in Frederick and around the world.
This year has not been any picnic, but we were given renewed hope with the rollout of a mass vaccination program that saved the lives of almost everyone willing to receive it.
And that has opened a door to the future for most families, who will join together today to share a meal and savor their blessings.
It is also a great time to enjoy the beauty and serenity of nature as well. Perhaps you and the folks you love will take some time to go for a walk in Baker Park, or in your own neighborhood today. Perhaps you will hike in the Catoctin National Park, just enjoying the beauty of nature.
Later, you might join together around a fireplace and laugh at old jokes and funny memories of Thanksgivings of the past.
While we cannot ignore the reality of poverty, abuse and unhappiness that hurts many people, our hope is that they will find strength to sustain them through trials and tribulations.
Many people will spend today creating new, warm memories that will become the treasured keepsakes of their lives. Through the coming decades, the things you do today will become the stuff of family lore. The children at the table today will recall the taste of Grandma’s sweet potato casserole or her pumpkin pie long after Grandma has gone to her rest. Thanksgiving days of the past live on in the warm, golden glow of memory.
Gratitude is powerful. Gratitude can bring peace for today and make tomorrow better. Choose something for which you are grateful and open your heart to goodness and beauty.
Your friends at the News-Post want to wish everyone in this community a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving.