Senator John ThuneAs the end of another year approaches, we once again gather with family and friends to remember all we have in our lives for which we are thankful. Before the turkey is carved, we should all take stock of the year that has passed and reflect on the things that are most important to us. For many in South Dakota and across the nation, we remember that our families and our friends mean more to us than material success.
It is true that many in South Dakota this year will spend Thanksgiving worrying about the security of their job or searching for a job. It is in these times that we rely on the support of our family and friends even more, and not just in the material sense. All my life I have witnessed South Dakotans helping their neighbors in times of trouble, be it through volunteering, charitable giving, or simply being friendly to a person in need. This Thanksgiving, we should remember those who are not as fortunate, and think of ways each of us can help.
Thanksgiving is also a special time to remember those who cannot join us for dinner but who still mean so much to us. Many South Dakota families will gather without the company of those who are serving in our Armed Forces overseas. There are many South Dakotans who will spend Thanksgiving in dangerous places around the world, defending the freedom that enables our nation to be prosperous. I ask all South Dakotans to remember those who serve as well as their families in their Thanksgiving prayers this year.
Thanksgiving first became a national holiday when Abraham Lincoln declared a national day of thanks in the midst of the Civil War. Today, we would all do well to remember that our nation first stopped to give thanks for all that we have in the shadow of great violence and a raging conflict over the rights of all men. Surely, the challenges we face today as a nation are great, but President Lincoln’s call for us to remember our blessings is just as important today as it was in our nation’s darkest hour.
To all of those South Dakotans who will travel this Thanksgiving, I wish you a safe journey. I am especially thankful this year for my family, and I remain thankful for the opportunity to serve our state in the U.S. Senate. The new year will be filled with challenges, but it is also filled with promise for many great successes. I wish all South Dakotans a happy Thanksgiving.