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Editorial: Thursday is a day for thanks and family

Families across west central Minnesota will travel and gather together Thursday to celebrate Thanksgiving Day.

It is a day for thanksgiving as well as good family, great food, especially fabulous turkey raised and processed right here in west central Minnesota.

The first Pilgrims' Thanksgiving was held in 1621 and remained basically a New England tradition. In 1777, a Day of Thanksgiving was declared to celebrate the American victory at Saratoga. President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a Thanksgiving holiday. In 1941, Congress declared Thanksgiving as a national holiday.

Thanksgiving is now celebrated every year as an American tradition.

A fall harvest celebration has long been celebrated by the natives of North America -- American Indians. In fact, the Wampanoag Indians of eastern Massachusetts were also in attendance at the first Pilgrims' Thanksgiving.

Today some American Indians just consider Thanksgiving to be a day of mourning due to the loss of their culture and their people as a result of European immigrants.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, it is a good time to reflect upon our many blessings.

The economy of west central Minnesota and much of the upper Midwest is holding steady or slowly improving. Granted, there is plenty of room for more growth.

America faces another miracle of democracy as the election year approaches in 2012.

Every American, resident and guest remains free in our country, able to practice our basic freedoms of speech, religion and the pursuit of happiness.

And remember that not every family or business is seeing good times at the moment. So remember those who could use a helping hand this holiday season and help out if you can.

Ask for a blessing for all the military personnel serving on our behalf around the world on this Thanksgiving Day.

As you gather with family and friends Thursday, give thanks for all your blessings.