Optimism renewed at Thanksgiving

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 25, 2004

For all the good times that Butler County has seen, we say thanks. Our thanks may not match the local unemployment rate, among the state's highest, but will hopefully rank us lower on that list. It may not match the mood of families of those serving in the military in armed conflicts around the world or in any of the dozens of countries America has a stake, often amid danger, always far from home.

It may not match the damage done by Hurricane Ivan and it certainly does not match the mood of an anxious country or the threats that have become part of our lives.

But we give thanks, for it reminds us of the good days the citizens of Butler County and our nation have had in the past, and it reaffirms the idea that we seek those days again.

Good is the life of prosperity most of us enjoy. Good are the families that surround most of us. Good times mean sharing our wealth with those without it.

We help other through hard times and it makes what we have more meaningful.

We are so removed from the Pilgrim fathers (and mothers) that centuries have passed, and still we remember the good of that day. That first Thanksgiving on a rock-bound shore was as hard and brittle as they come.

There have been so many interpretations of that day that much of the actual events are swallowed by myths and the harshness of the world rarely let them show through.

But we are optimists here in Greemville, like no other place. And optimism has translated that faint image of the first Thanksgiving into decades of family gatherings, prayer and thanks, football, children, logs on the fire (if the weather cooperates), the wonder of empty highways and the grand turkey, both a fulfilling meal and a triumph of marketing.

Thanksgiving is a pause from the fall harvest to give thanks, but it is also optimism for the winter ahead, for the future, for the next year and the years to come when the turkey will come out and Greenville's bounty will be on the table.

So from our families to your's, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and many happy returns of the day.