Thankful for U.S.

Today, I’m thankful for U.S.

I’m especially grateful for the opportunity to say so.

We live in a beautiful, confounding country and sometimes we forget our manners. But, by official proclamation, we have to write a national thank you note every fourth Thursday in November.

Consider this mine.

I’m grateful to Abraham Lincoln who, in the midst of a wrenching Civil War and just three months after the bloodiest battle in it, officially proclaimed that Thanksgiving would be a national holiday, celebrated on the same date in every state.

He wrote that his battle-scarred country, “rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is  permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase in freedom.”

I’m grateful for that kind of American optimism and the men and women who vow to protect it.

I appreciate the opportunity to debate, and to vote, and to debate some more.

I salute our glorious cornucopia of cultures, honor our values, and respect our uniquely American traditions.

Like turkey legs at amusement parks, big, friendly hellos, and giant automobiles with left-sided  steering wheels, Thanksgiving is mostly an American holiday. We need it now, as much as we did back in 1863. Honest gratitude soothes, it leads to empathy, and God knows every single person in this country could use more of that.

Gratitude allows us to take stock of who we are, and what cool influences, both subtle and overt, made us that way. So, today I’m thankful for America, its song writers, poets and entrepreneurs; for its teachers and coaches, my mentors and friends. I’m thankful for journalists, and the few independent sources that employ them; for the service industry we sometimes take for granted; for electronic devices and those who optimize them; for police officers; firefighters and first responders; for parks, sidewalks, and public art.

I’m grateful, today and every moment of every day, for my family.

As we’re all running around today, collecting relatives, baking pies, and praying our giant turkeys have thawed, let’s all be thankful for U.S.

This picture is ridiculous and such a perfect encapsulation of an American Thanksgiving, that I had to include it. This year, as in most, I’m grateful for our friend Toby Paltzer, politician and turkey farmer extraordinaire. Yesterday Toby delivered our Thanksgiving turkey right to the courtroom.  
It sat in evidence for a bit and earned itself an exhibit tag. This year, we’re also grateful for the Cluck N Pluck, LLC one of Wisconsin’s cleverly named small businesses. God bless the Cluck N Pluck for turning Toby’s Turkeys into Thanksgiving dinner.

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