Thanksgiving is the most American of holidays, both across the land and across the generations.
It’s a day when most Americans of all ages feel justified gratitude for the bounty that this exceptional nation has enjoyed.
Those in the rocking-chair stage of life may well look back to Thanksgivings past, to happy times spent feasting with family and friends.
The younger set may not know it yet, but one day they also will look nostalgically back at Thanksgivings past.
It’s part of the tradition.
And while Thanksgiving is more than watching multiple football games while consuming inordinate amounts of home cooking, those widespread customs are part of this annual occasion, too.
Among the many reasons to give thanks today are personal assets that transcend hearty table fare and welcome leisure time. They include the treasures of loved ones and friends — and for those lucky enough to still have it, good health.
Here in the Lowcountry, we can all be thankful to live somewhere that has suffered relatively minimal consequences from the Great Recession. As for our steep population climb over the last quarter century, look on the bright side: It means this is such a wonderful place to live that we keep attracting newcomers.
And the United States remains the land of opportunity, despite our current difficulties.
As for those who fear that our country is in irreversible decline, don’t write that obituary just yet.
Throughout our epic history, other nervous naysayers have prematurely proclaimed that America’s best days are behind us.
But we have survived — and overcome — far worse times than these: slavery and that most uncivil of civil wars; the assassinations of presidents; the Great Depression; racial segregation; the threat of global totalitarianism; domestic discord that fueled fiery riots a half century ago; post-World War II conflicts that have claimed the lives of so many brave American warriors far from home; and the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States.
Yet America always has come back — a stronger, more just and greater nation than before.
God willing, it always shall.
So on this great American holiday, be grateful that you are an American — and that you live in a country that, despite current bumps in the road, is still the greatest and most envied in all the world.
And if you must eat too much, you can be thankful to find a comfortable spot to take a well-deserved holiday nap.