The idea of a truly national day of Thanksgiving has been a part of our country since George Washington signed the first such proclamation in 1789. It is a testament to our nation’s founding ideals that the first holiday we proclaimed was not to celebrate an individual or event, but to take pause and recognize our good fortunes.
Over the years, the specific traditions of Thanksgiving have changed yet the underlying principle of setting aside an entire day to reflect on our blessings has remained the same.
While we have much to be thankful for this year, our country is also at a critical turning point in our history. We face challenging times, but the challenges we face are never as great as the blessings bestowed upon us.
As your Representative in Congress, I am committed to helping make the United States a better place and a beacon of opportunity in the 21st Century. Like most parents, I ask myself, will my child be better off than I am? In the history of our great nation, each generation has strived to improve and move our country forward so that the next generation will be better off.
This week, families will gather to celebrate and give thanks for the blessings bestowed upon them. Like many, I will pray that our families have a happy, healthy, and safe Thanksgiving. This year, I have many things to be grateful for, but I am most thankful to spend time with family and friends, and my wife and newborn son.
As we come together, we must be mindful to remember all of the military men and women currently separated from their families who are vigilantly assuring that we continue to be blessed with freedom and liberty. We must also remember those who are less fortunate as we enter this holiday season. As a nation and a community, we each have a duty to help those experiencing hard times.
I will be visiting local food banks in Southern Ohio to lend my support to those who are dedicated year round to assist those in need throughout our communities.
President Reagan once asked the American people to “recommit ourselves to that devotion to God and family that has played such an important role in making this a great Nation, and which will be needed as a source of strength if we are to remain a great people.” On this Thanksgiving, his advice could not be more appropriate.
We must remember to keep our connections to faith and family strong, in order to keep our nation strong. God bless you and your family, and have a Happy Thanksgiving.
Brad Wenstrup represents Ohio’s 2nd Congressional District.