Let us Give Thanks for our American Blessings

Written by: Denise Doring VanBuren, President General
November 28, 2019

Somewhere between the much-anticipated arrival of loved ones and the last savory forkful of pumpkin pie, we will each invariably pause at some point on Thanksgiving Day to count our blessings. For many of us, we will be lucky enough to place robust health, good fortune and supportive family high on our lists.

But this year, I ask you to also pause to reflect and to give thanks for the blessing of being an American citizen.  We owe that to our Patriot ancestors, who were willing to sacrifice all, including their very lives, that we might enjoy the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in a free and open society. I am certain that you could compile your own list of uniquely American blessings to cherish during this national holiday to express your gratitude, but here are a few of mine to get you started:

- The protections provided by the Constitution of the United States of America and its pioneering Bill of Rights.

- The ability to go to bed each night and rise each morning feeling safe and secure, thanks to our police officers, armed forces and other men and women who selflessly protect our collective best interest at their own potential peril.

- The chance to further my education and pursue the career path of my choosing, recognizing that there are many places on the globe where women are not afforded that opportunity.

- The benefits of clean water that flows from my tap and the fresh air that I breathe into my lungs.

- The chance to visit our free National Parks and historic sites to learn more about our proud history and our magnificent American landscape.

- A free market economic system that, while not perfect, is the envy of the world and the catalyst for our nation’s innovation and advancement.

- The right to cast my ballot for the local, state and federal leaders who have earned my trust.

- The freedom to worship, travel, work and support causes of my choosing.

- The opportunity to pursue happiness as I define it.

Ours is not a perfect nation – as it was founded and has been sustained by mere mortals. But it nonetheless represents what Abraham Lincoln so eloquently labeled “the last best hope of earth.”

But reminding our fellow citizens of our good fortune has long been (and will likely be forever) necessary – after all, consider Thomas Jefferson’s thoughts on that subject:  “How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!”

As members of the DAR, with Patriotism one of our three foundational purposes, we are bound by a mission to remind Americans of every generation that we are, indeed, a rich and fortunate people. Thank you for being an engaged member of Today’s DAR—we share a joyful obligation to celebrate the rights and responsibilities of American citizenship.

I wish you and yours a bountiful Thanksgiving, and please know that I count you as one of my many blessings this holiday.

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