Thanks for 10
What do Rockdale residents have to be thankful for, considering we're in the midst of a recession and are still awaiting the full impact of the Alcoa closing?
Plenty of things. Here are 10 and each of us can add several dozen more from our individual lives:
• Our troops. Here's where it all starts. We have the freedom to do what we do every day because of them and their sacrifices both abroad, and as we learned so sadly two weeks ago, at home.
• The American farmer. He (and she) feed the world. What would that Thanksgiving meal table look like without them? We never want to find out.
• Our teachers. They perform little miracles every day and those little miracles come together to form an education.
• Volunteers. From our firefighters to the people who are determined no one in Rockdale will go without Thanksgiving dinner or a Christmas present, they do for free a job you could never pay someone enough to do.
• Our right to vote. "They're all crooks," you say. Sorry, that's the lazy person's way out. Don't ever forget who works for who in this country. But that's only as long as we give thanks for this privilege instead of ignoring it.
• Law enforcement. Last week local police and the sheriff's office put three drug dealers in jail and confiscated a stolen semiautomatic pistol across the street from the elementary campus. Grateful? You better believe it.
• Rain. Two months ago this area was rapidly turning into a desert. Look at it now.
• Our hospital. A handful of years ago Richards Memorial Hospital was in deep trouble and in real danger of closing. Today it's not only thriving, we're about to get a new hospital facility to continue that state-of-the-art care.
• Fall coloring. Look outside. We don't need to head for New England. Our trees and bushes put on a spectacular show this time every year. And it's free!
• Freedom to worship. It's why we have Thanksgiving in the first place. It's always instructive to recall that half the Pilgrims died that first winter in the new world, but the survivors created Thanksgiving anyway.
Why? There was nobody around telling them how to pray.—M.B.