Guest Commentary: Counting our blessings

By Senator John Thune

The passing months have highlighted some of the country's deep divides and overwhelming challenges. As the end of the year approaches, it is important to pause and give thanks for the many blessings that come with living in this great country.

 The national celebration of Thanksgiving reminds each of us to set aside our frustrations, worries, and problems, and instead take time to express gratitude for the good fortune in our lives. We are thankful for the exceptional service of our brave troops around the world, who protect our nation from foreign and domestic threats. We are thankful to live in a country where we can freely worship our Creator, speak our minds without fear, and enjoy the freedom that is the cornerstone of our society. And perhaps most of all, we are thankful for the blessings of family, for the support of our communities, and for the fellowship of our friends and neighbors.

 South Dakotans not only speak words of gratitude, but also express gratitude through their acts of goodwill and charity. In communities across the state, fundraisers are held for families experiencing tough times, neighbors offer a helpful hand with errands, and food drives and Thanksgiving dinners are provided for those who are in need of a warm meal and friendship. The selfless acts of those around us make each of us thankful that South Dakota is the place we call home.

 As the year draws to a close, I am thankful for my wonderful family and the opportunity to continue to serve our state in the U.S. Senate. The new year will be filled with challenges, but it will also be filled with the promise for many great blessings. Kimberley and I wish all South Dakotans and their families safe travels and a very blessed Thanksgiving.

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