For most of us, this has been a good year.
There certainly was recent loss of homes and long-held mementos when tornadoes ripped across central Indiana. A bus crash on the north side of Indianapolis took the lives of a pastor, his pregnant wife and also a mother of five in July. And a longtime hunter chose to terminate his life when faced with the prognosis of being paralyzed after a fall from a tree stand.
These stories touched our lives in memorable ways.
Perhaps we paused a moment to give thanks that we were not confronted by the harshness of these human tragedies.
Today, we give thanks for such valued times.
The day hasn't always been that encompassing. As we know from our history lessons, the day was to commemorate that legendary autumn harvest feast between the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag Indians. The colonies and states celebrated in some form until 1863 when Abraham Lincoln declared a national Thanksgiving Day.
It is still interesting that Lincoln found a need for Americans to give thanks in 1863 amid the horrors of the ongoing Civil War.
Americans today have no internal struggles of that magnitude to face today. But we do have reason to give thanks.
Maybe we shouldn't look at it as giving thanks for a good 2013.
Maybe this day is a good chance to give thanks for all the benefits of a democracy that generally serves its populace. Maybe we simply give thanks for friends and family, that they have survived the traumas and turmoil of life. Maybe it's time to thank those who have passed before us — veterans, ancestors or other loved ones.
The simple fact we pause for a few moments to think of others is indeed cause to celebrate the existence of Thanksgiving.
But there's also a factor that for more than 150 years, Americans, despite tragedies, have found reason to give thanks.
In summary Today we give thanks for a good year and life.