PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Opinion

November 21, 2012

Many reasons to be thankful this year

A look at the newspaper headlines or the evening news on Thanksgiving Day shows at a glance how much we have to be thankful for here in our corner of Southeast Texas.

Rockets are raining on Israel and Israeli jets are pounding Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip as it appears war will once again envelop the Middle East’s legacy hot spot. This is while the  toll from the civil war wracking Syria is said to be about 40,000 dead with more than a million uprooted from their homes. While we can sympathize with the people of Israel for the danger and hardship they face, and feel horror for the civilian population in Gaza for having to endure being used as shields for militants, we can be thankful that their existence is not ours. Very thankful.

Our country is still at war, though sometimes it is hard to remember because the fighting in Afghanistan is on the other side of the globe and we do not live like the Israelis in a world of air raid sirens and bomb shelters. We can be thankful that our political leaders say there is a date certain for the end of that war, when the responsibility for the security of Afghanistan is handed off the Afghanistan people.

We can be thankful for those among us who voluntarily answer the call to military service and risk everything to stand as a shield to protect our way of life, our ability to worship and work, our right to question and complain. They protect the right we recently practiced to select our leaders. We can be thankful — very thankful — that because of them our neighborhoods are mostly quiet at night.

When we see the people of New York or New Jersey and other parts of the northeast still suffering from the ravages of Superstorm Sandy, a hurricane mixed with a blizzard, we can easily remember back to the days after Rita and Ike and understand their hardship. More than 100 were killed, many lost homes, many are still without power in the cold of early winter. We can be thankful, very thankful, that this year we were spared, and prayerful that next year we will be spared as well.

Many of us will gather around dinner tables with family and friends today to feast on traditional meals. Some of us will volunteer time to help make this Thanksgiving holiday a little brighter for those who don’t have a feast for their table. We can be thankful that so many are willing to give time and money to help others.

We at The Port Arthur News are thankful that this area’s economy is steadily showing growth and that signs point to an exciting 2013. And we are thankful for you, our readers, who turn to us as a source of community, a way to stay connected with the Golden Triangle. Our hope is that you, too, have many reasons to be thankful as this year’s holiday season begins.

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