Note: The following article of mine *appeared in the Opinion page of Suffolk News-Herald, Thursday, November 27, 2008. And, I'm happy to share it with you, my dear folks and friends. Thanks for reading...
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you have a blessed, joyful and meaningful Thanksgiving with your family and friends.
Here's my Thanksgiving Day prayer: Lord, Almighty God, I have a lot to be thankful for. First, I thank You for all the bountiful blessings and harvests you've showered on us. Thank You for our families being together in these trying times. Thank You for the settlers-pilgrims, immigrants, and veterans that brought us (and enriched our) life and freedom here in America. Thank You for our government officials who have worked for the greatness (and common good) of America. Thank You for our religious leaders for increasing (and enriching) our faith. Thank You for our teachers and volunteers, our innovators and pioneers, our doctors, nurses and other caregivers, our police officers, our dedicated and hard-working farmers for all their efforts and sacrifices in making America a strong and great nation. Thank You for our journalists for informing us of what's happening around the world. Thank You for our actors and singers, and writers, and athletes for entertaining us and reminding us that despite the economic downturn and meltdown, and sluggish recovery, we can still manage to celebrate our humanity. Thank you, good and gracious God, for all our Armed Forces, our servicemen and women who are here and abroad, fighting for freedom and maintaining peace and order, and also for their families and the sacrifices they make. I pray, Lord, that our homeless will find shelter and comfort this cold holiday season. May your Light and Love shine before us always! Amen.
Now, let me tell you, I feel so blessed to be in America. I can't thank her enough for all what she's done for my family and me. I sure did realize my dream, joining the U.S. Navy and retiring after 20 years of honorable service to my adoptive country. So on this Thanksgiving Day, I sincerely thank you, America, for helping me realize the American Dream. I thank you for this wonderful, incredible freedom and democracy that my family and I enjoy. As an American of Filipino ancestry, I proudly say how much I love this country where my two children were born.
Together with my younger siblings, I had my first Thanksgiving Day in the United States 25 years ago at my sister Betty's house in San Jose, California. Although I didn't know much then about this traditional American celebration, I had a good time, because we had that big family Thanksgiving with lots of food and love.
On a personal note, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank my sister Betty for being the Big sister in the truest sense of of the word. With Dad and my brother-in-law Dennis, she made it possible for my siblings and me to legally emigrate to this great country of ours, The Land of the Free World, in 1983, and she became our second mother once we arrived here. I'll be forever indebted and eternally grateful to our sister Betty.
May God bless our beautiful and colorful America. May God bless us all always! Again, Happy Thanksgiving to you all!-chris a. quilpa