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Editorial: Thanks for the feast

Gratitude is the heart’s memory, according to a French proverb. Here are a few things our hearts will remember this Thanksgiving Day:
– Farmers. How is it they keep getting squeezed tighter and tighter, even when food prices go up? The people who make a living growing crops and livestock know what it really takes to put food on the table. Thank them for providing today’s feast.
– Veterans. Hundreds of veterans have flown to see the World War II Memorial recently, with the help of Flight of Honor and area Rotary clubs. The gratitude shown them on these trips was long overdue. They served their country well.
– Freedom to argue. Since summer, the nation has been debating health-care reform, and it hasn’t always been pretty. Health insurance is very complicated; throw in name-calling and political maneuvering, and you have a real mess. This is the way we do things in the United States of America. No dictators. Lots of debate. The only thing worse than disagreeing is not being allowed to voice an opinion.
– Local merchants. As you hit the pavement on Friday, traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year, be sure your feet carry you into local stores, and locally owned ones when possible. They’ve made it through a very tough year.
– Health care. We have it in spades, with Rowan Regional Medical Center, the Hefner VA Medical Center and CMC-NorthEast serving local communities. There are also free clinics, like the Good Shepherd Clinic and the Community Care Clinic in Salisbury and the Community Free Clinic in Concord. Amen to them.
– Educators. Another plentiful resource in this area, teachers and college professors represent a wealth of knowledge. They teach generation after generation, always learning something themselves along the way. We’d be lost without them.
– Talent. This area is loaded with it, from artists displaying works at Waterworks to musicians and singers performing with countless groups, bands and orchestras. And don’t forget those on the stage.
– People who protect us. This includes men and women in the armed services who fight on behalf of the country ó and law enforcement officers, firefighters and rescue workers who fend for us at home. We can feel secure and grateful, knowing so many make it their business to keep us safe. And our hearts are still remembering Justin Monroe and Vic Isler, the city firefighters who lost their lives in the 2008 fire at Salisbury Millwork.
– People who give. Philanthropy is alive and well in this region, with institutions like the Salisbury Community Foundation and the Cannon Foundation leading the way. But giving can also come in the form of canned goods donated to Rowan Helping Ministries. Nearly everyone has something to give.
– Barbecue. Need we say more?
– Faith. We’re referring to the religious kind, not the town, though there’s plenty to be grateful for there, too. What is Thanksgiving without faith? “I have held many things in my hands, and have lost them all,” Martin Luther once wrote, “but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.” That’s faith.

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