OPINION

Happy Thanksgiving, District 1!

Syracuse Journal-Democrat

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to visit our close friends and family, eat a glorious amount of food, and remember the things we are thankful for in our lives.

There is much to be thankful for in the United States, especially Southeast Nebraska. We have more freedoms and opportunities in the United States than any other country in the world, granted through our groundbreaking Constitution and protected by the brave men and women serving our country’s armed forces. In Nebraska, we can be thankful we have the country’s lowest unemployment rate ever at 1.9% (which is the lowest rate for any state nationwide since record-keeping began) and for a booming economy, even amidst the turmoil the nation is facing.

Thanksgiving is not simply a government-proclaimed holiday. Ronald Reagan said in his 1984 Thanksgiving proclamation, “We can be especially thankful that real gratitude to God is inscribed, not in proclamations of government, but in the hearts of all our people who come from every race, culture, and creed on the face of the Earth. And as we pause to give thanks for our many gifts, let us be tempered by humility and by compassion for those in need, and let us reaffirm through prayer and action our determination to share our bounty with those less fortunate.” 

As Reagan’s quote suggests, it is not the government that makes Thanksgiving a special holiday- it is the thankfulness in our hearts. So, as you spend this holiday with your friends and family and fill yourself with turkey, stuffing, and pie, please don’t forget to remember all that you have to be thankful for this year. 

This year, I am thankful for many things- first and foremost being the opportunity to serve you. I’m also grateful for my family, my upcoming wedding in December to Andrew La Grone, and our communities in Southeast Nebraska, who came together in force to support those facing loss this year. Thanksgiving was first officially celebrated in the aftermath of the Civil War. President Lincoln declared the holiday so, even in the face of unimaginable loss, Americans could look towards gratitude to heal the country. That spirit is still alive in our country today. Have a Happy Thanksgiving, District 1!

As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln NE 68509-4604; telephone: 402-471-2733; email: jslama@leg.ne.gov.

Nebraska State Senator Julie Slama