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A humble gratitude

Thu 24 November 2016 by Rick Gilmore

I am supposed to be thankful. Gratitude comes easily to me, and this holiday was always my favorite growing up.

But this Thanksgiving day I am reminded of native peoples, the first immigrants to this land, and the holocaust my ancestors' arrival brought upon them. We took their land, pillaged and murdered them, and then imprisoned the generations who survived in jails without walls. These truths are known, but too often forgotten.

I hold other truths to be self-evident. All men and women of all colors, races, and creeds are created equal. We are endowed with inalienable rights. To secure these rights requires government, but only a government that derives its power from the consent of the governed is just. Whenever any form of government threatens the people's rights or behaves unjustly, the people may alter or abolish it.

On this day, I give thanks to the teachers who opened my mind to the painful clarity of these truths. I give thanks to the brave-hearted souls who fight every day to force my flawed country to face its fractured history and uphold its ideals. I give thanks to my country's founders for articulating a vision worthy of making manifest, but which human frailty ensures we shall never fully realize. I give thanks for the freedom to think, and speak, and write, and strive, and mourn, and cherish. And, I remember that all these freedoms were bought with blood.


Comments

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