Food, Family, and Faith
By Sen. John Thune
There’s a beautiful simplicity that I love about Thanksgiving. It consists of just three basic parts: food, family, and faith. Our forebearers saw fit that Americans should have a day dedicated solely to giving thanks for all that we have, and generations of Americans have looked forward to pausing from the buzz of daily life on Thanksgiving Day for just this reason.
Like nearly every Thanksgiving, I’ll be home in South Dakota, celebrating with my family: my wife, my daughters, my sons-in-law, and my five grandchildren. We have our family traditions. I’ll be on turkey-carving duty – and helping with the dishes. We’ll have plenty of pies on the table, including my favorite: anything in the cream pie family. And we’ll likely spend some time outdoors throwing around the football with the grandkids.
My family has a tradition of going around the table and sharing something for which we’re thankful every year. It’s a long list and each item on it brings a little more joy to our table. I consider myself a lottery winner for being lucky enough to be born in the greatest country on earth. I’m grateful to live in a country whose foundation is freedom, where we can freely live out our faith, and pursue a better life for the next generation. I’m thankful to be from, and to have raised my family in, South Dakota, where people work hard and help each other out, where the bounties of our agriculture industry feed the world, and where the natural beauty of creation is all around us.
I am also profoundly grateful for the brave men and women who serve our country in the Armed Forces. They have answered the call to defend our country and protect the freedoms we hold dear, often at great sacrifice for themselves and their families. Each Thanksgiving, I think of these Americans whose duties require them to be away from their families, sometimes in harm’s way, during the holiday season. Please keep them in your prayers.
As my family goes around the table, I reflect on how each of our blessings comes from God. For my family, our faith in Him is the guiding light that keeps us focused. On Thanksgiving, we remember that we can lean on His wisdom and guidance every day, and that His strength is always with us.
In his 1986 Thanksgiving Proclamation, President Reagan eloquently expressed the simplicity of Thanksgiving. He wrote, “Let us pause from our many activities to give thanks to Almighty God for our bountiful harvests and abundant freedoms. Let us call upon Him for continued guidance and assistance in all our endeavors. And let us ever be mindful of the faith and spiritual values that have made our Nation great and that alone can keep us great.”
I wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!