t’s hard to believe how quickly time passes by. Another Thanksgiving is almost upon us. It is a time of year when we should stop, count our blessings and be thankful for them.

We should be thankful that we live in the United States. When you look at the deplorable conditions in some other countries, it really brings home how good we have it here. A lot of the credit for that goes to our veterans. Countless numbers fought, and many of them died, to preserve our country and our way of life. Peacetime veterans are worthy of respect as well. They took time out of their lives to serve their country, all the while knowing that they could be called into combat at any time. I am not a veteran, but nobody has more respect for them than I do. Anyone who does not respect them is an idiot. Period.

We should also be grateful for the loved ones and friends in our lives. They contribute so much to making our lives better. If, like me, you have lost a loved one, there is still reason for thanks. In my case, my wife passed away a few days before last Christmas. Despite the pain I feel over that, I am still thankful for the 46 years we had together, for the son we raised and for the life we built together, through good times and bad.

We also owe a great debt of thanks for our volunteer emergency workers, namely fire departments and ambulance services. It is impossible to adequately describe what they do for us. It does not matter what they are doing. If they are eating dinner, or sound asleep, when the alarm sounds, they are on the job. In my own case, the volunteer fire departments have helped me out many times. In floods, they have pumped out my basement. During the catastrophic flood of 1980, they rescued my wife, my father and me from a destroyed house. Were it not for a group of volunteer firefighters, in a long ago rescue on the Clarion River, I might not be here writing this column. Hats off to all those who volunteer their time to worthy causes.

Of course, there are those who are not thankful at this solemn time. We have the so-called Antifa, who claim to be anti-fascism, whole displaying all of the characteristics of the fascists of history. I sincerely hope that they will not disrupt Thanksgiving ceremonies, but I genuinely fear that they will. Despite the fact that communism has failed throughout history, they want to give it one more try on us.

I am thankful for our Constitution, including the Second Amendment. It is very comforting to know that I am free to arm myself in order to protect myself and my loved ones. Not everybody is thankful for that, however. They would love to disarm us, so that we would be subjects rather than citizens.

It will be interesting to see how the NFL protests will play on Veterans Day weekend, although I will not be watching. As I am writing this, I have read that some veterans’ groups are boycotting the games this weekend. Also, a number of sponsors are reconsidering their commitments to the NFL. If they have any backbone, they will withdraw their sponsorship until the national anthem protests stop once and for all. They are an insult to anyone who believes in America.

In closing, I would like to wish everyone, Democrat and Republican, liberal and conservative, a very happy Thanksgiving.

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