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Congressman Bob Goodlatte

Congressman Bob Goodlatte’s Weekly Column: November 18, 2016
A Time to Give Thanks
By Congressman Bob Goodlatte
Washington, DC (Nov. 17, 2016) -

“Through the decades, through the centuries, in log cabins, country churches, cathedrals, homes, and halls, the American people have paused to give thanks to God, in times of peace and plenty or of danger and distress...The cause for which we give thanks, for which so many of our citizens through the years have given their lives, has endured 200 years -- a blessing to us and a light to all mankind.” These were the words of President Ronald Reagan on Thanksgiving Day in 1987, 200 years after the drafting of the United States Constitution. While many more years have passed, the sentiment of his words resonates today.

This season of Thanksgiving comes at the perfect time. When was the last time you took a second to stop and give thanks? In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, we are all guilty of occasionally forgetting the blessings that have been bestowed upon us simply because we live in America. But when we forget these blessings, we forget the hard work and struggle of generations of men and women before us. As families and friends prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving over the coming days, it’s a reminder to stop and give thanks. Our differences and the challenges our communities face should not distract us from reflecting upon this gratitude.

This Thanksgiving, we should all be grateful for those who continue to build, lead, and protect our great nation, especially members of our Armed Forces. It is my hope that as folks gather together they will give thanks for those who continue to sacrifice for our nation. For those who have a family member serving and missing from the Thanksgiving table this year, I also thank you for your sacrifice.

While Thanksgiving is a reminder of the bounty that many have, it also brings to light the needs of those less fortunate. Americans have long been a people eager to serve, and the Sixth District is home to many great organizations dedicated to helping others. Feeding America in the Roanoke area, Blue Ridge Area Food Bank in Augusta County,  Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry in Front Royal, Community Table in Lexington, and Neighbors Helping Neighbors in Amherst are just some examples of groups providing food assistance or meals for those in need this holiday season. There are many more groups ready to lend a helping hand than I could name, and, for that, I am very thankful.

Let us follow the example of past Americans who in various seasons of our history, during hardship and prosperity alike, gave thanks for the blessings they enjoyed, including the precious liberty many have fought to preserve. I hope we can all find a moment to give thanks. God bless you all, and from my family to yours – Happy Thanksgiving.

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