Thursday, November 24, 2016

I Am So Thankful...


--- for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

--- for my wonderful loving wife, Angel Linda, who makes every day, and every meal, special.

--- for my two beautiful and smart daughters, and Tami's husband, who work so hard to do so well in order to live securely and happily.

--- for my five precious grandchildren, so innocent and with so much potential, and so much fun to be with.

--- for my enthusiastic father, who provided a large New England ancestry to research, and passed on an undying love for the games of baseball and football.

--- for my loving mother, so patient, supportive and kind, who saved so much family history and whose ancestry provides such fascinating research challenges.

--- for my brothers, their wives and children, who are interested in the family history and remember more than I do about our growing up years.

--- for my grandparents and earlier ancestors, who worked hard, played by the rules, raised healthy families, and provided a firm foundation for their descendants.

--- for my aunts, uncles and cousins, who opened their homes and their hearts and shared their memories.

--- for the brave passengers on the Mayflower and other early ships who colonized New England, and instilled a republican form of government based on personal freedom and responsibility.

--- for the immigrants that populated our country, diversified our culture, worked hard to succeed, and are woven into the country's fabric.

--- for the courageous citizens who revolted to secure our freedoms, and created the institutions that are the foundations of the USA.

--- for the soldiers, sailors, marines and pilots, of every historical time, who have given their lives, defended our country, and kept us safe and free.

--- for the entire Constitution and Bill of Rights - especially the freedoms of speech, religion and assembly. I am awestruck that the Founders wrote such a magnificent set of documents that have stood the test of time.

--- for educational opportunities, whereby every and any person in this country can be the best that they can be, but they have to really make an effort.

--- for the free market and free enterprise economic system that encourages and rewards work and innovation, and has allowed me and my family to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

--- for the marvels of science and engineering, that drive our health, transportation, communication and entertainment industries.

--- for the wonders of nature that beautify our world, inspire us and occasionally overwhelm us.

--- for my genealogy society colleagues, genea-bloggers, blog readers, Facebook friends and Google+ circle members who challenge, educate, encourage and appreciate me.

--- for Ancestry.com, Fold3.com, FamilySearch.org, GenealogyBank, Geni,  MyHeritage, FindMyPast, AmericanAncestors, Find A Grave, and other genealogy websites that provide online databases and records to explore into the wee hours of the night.

--- for genealogy software that organizes our family structures and provides incredible reports and charts to share with our families.

--- for repositories that collect, preserve and provide papers, records, photographs, books, manuscripts and artifacts to expand our research.

--- for genealogy conferences, societies, magazines, books, newsletters, webinars, hangouts, and social media that inform and educate us.

This year, I am really thankful for good health and the joys of going out to dinner with my wife on Thanksgiving (so she doesn't drop another frozen turkey on her toes and I have to cook it.)

What are you thankful for on this 154th Thanksgiving holiday?



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1 comment:

stluno said...

Happy Thanksgiving, and particular thanks for your wide-ranging and expressive tally of your grounds for thankfulness. May I qualify one and add one?

You speak of the "soldiers...who have defended our country and kept us safe and free." I think of these millions of men and women unable to forget the hundreds of thousands who made the "supreme sacrifice" thanks to their willingness to "defend our country." An example would be my maternal uncle who was killed in Italy in 1944, having returned to combat after receiving several Purple Hearts. Any thankfulness I might experience with respect to his service is erased by my awareness of loss, both the loss that weighed on his immediate family for the rest of their lives, and, above all, for the world's loss of the contributions that a brilliant young man was unable to make because his life was extinguished when he was twenty-five. One other brief example: how can I be thankful for the participation of one of my American Revolution soldier-ancestors, who was a commander in Sullivan's Campaign, a pure example of "targeting" civilians with the goal of expulsion if not total annihilation.

So here's my addition: I'm thankful to be living in an era in which the efforts of scholars, especially American historians, of the past several decades have made us so much more aware than we were say fifty years ago (when I was in school) of the price that has been paid by Americans of color (above all, indigenes, slaves, and the descendants of slaves) as white people pursued their dreams. I'm talking about my ancestors (including some of those incredible men and women of 1620), your ancestors, Randy, and those, I expect, of most of your readers. People dependably Christian in name...but... in deed? Not so much. And not at all different from ourselves. Except...we know more than they did, so there is hope that we can do better than they did, when it comes to securing the equality of all Americans, both "under God" (as we routinely pledge) and under the laws that we are entirely responsible for.