Thanksgiving is a day of blessings

On October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln announced the nation would “observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father.” This announcement officially declared the last Thursday of every November to be a national holiday of Thanksgiving.

This year, it’s no question we are facing hardships as a community, state, and nation. However, we still have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. I especially want to highlight one of our greatest blessings – our constitutional freedoms in the United States.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives, but it does not change our inalienable rights. It does not change our right to assembly and association, protected by the First Amendment. No governmental body can tell you who can and cannot gather in your home – including the Governor. And for many Ohioans, Thanksgiving serves as a day of worship to thank God for His many blessings. Your religious freedom is, of course, protected by the First Amendment.

This is not the first pandemic America has seen, and it probably will not be the last. While our way of life has changed this year, the Constitution remains the same. Thanksgiving is a time for all of us to slow down and remember the blessings we are given. I believe one of the most important blessings is being a citizen of the United States of America, where we can exercise our First Amendment rights.

I hope you and your family have an enjoyable and healthy Thanksgiving.