Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. We hope everyone will take time to reflect on our countless blessings.

Compared to the original Pilgrims, in whose memory we observe the day, most of us have it pretty good. Half of the members in the first Massachusetts colony froze or starved to death in their inaugural American winter. We’ve come a long way since then and, though there is much over which we disagree, blessings abound for anyone inclined to dwell on them.

For our part we are thankful, after witnessing the heroic sacrifices made by military families for over a decade, that many of our soldiers are all home with their families for these holidays (at least the ones not being used as political pawns at our southern border).

We’re thankful for our constitutional protections to speak and assemble freely as various protests happen nationwide.

We’re thankful for the positive relationships we enjoy with professional municipal and state law enforcement agencies unlike many cities nationwide wrestling with legitimate social, racial and economic divides that lead to deep mistrust between their residents and police.

We’re thankful for peace and security as we watch autocratic regimes brutally repress their citizens and make warzones of their homes.

We’re thankful for clean air even though it happens to be historically cold at the moment.

We’re thankful to be mostly free of natural disasters, even as our thoughts turn to people suffering from historic wildfires, hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes.

We’re thankful that our communities all enjoy clean, affordable water.

We’re thankful to live in a nation of immigrants, even if half of Americans - including our racist President - don’t understand why that makes us so rich.

We’re thankful for Freedom of Religion that might allow us to bail on a church with a history of systematic abuse against helpless children.

We’re deeply thankful for presidential term limits.

We’re thankful that Vermont and New Hampshire have good Governors (even if one of them will be forced to endure a veto-proof majority).

We’re thankful that the courts continue to strike blows against blood-sucking public sector unions.

We’re thankful that New England teams are the envy of the sports universe and the home of mega-stars like Mookie Betts, Tom Brady, Patrice Bergeron and Jayson Tatum.

We’re thankful that (in the immortal words of Will Rodgers) “we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for.”

We’re thankful for the freedom to vote and the periodic “do-overs” afforded to us through the right.

We’re thankful for law enforcement who give “distracted driving” tickets to those who are too selfish, irresponsible and immature to pull over for their stupid phones.

We’re thankful for “Freedom of Information” laws even though government agents and actors are so committed to skirting them.

We’re thankful the world is starting to hear how wholly destructive social media platforms have been to society and democracy (even though people are slow to unplug in the face of this overwhelming evidence).

Closer to home we’re continually thankful for the spirit of independence and self-sufficiency that pervades our readership area and represents one of the last bastions of traditional Yankee values in Vermont and New Hampshire.

We’re thankful for area charities, people who volunteer, and the spirit of community and giving that drives them.

We are perpetually thankful to have world-class educational opportunities afforded kids at St. Johnsbury Academy and Lyndon Institute – independent schools that should be the model for schools everywhere.

We’re thankful that local school boards are (kind of, a little bit) finally standing up to the teacher unions, after years of letting taxpayers get steamrolled.

We’re thankful for the world class entertainment brought to historic local venues by committed volunteers and professional organizations like Catamount Arts and Kingdom County Productions.

We’re thankful for endless outdoor recreational activities that make us the envy of our urban neighbors in all directions.

We’re thankful for access to high quality health care at NVRH, LRH, NCH, Weeks and Cottage hospitals… even if our health care system remains broken.

We’re thankful for the hardscrabble area employers who continue to eke out an existence even as Vermont remains hell-bent on taxing us all completely out of existence.

We’re thankful to have such committed, professional and talented staffers to chronicle life in our region.

As one of only two remaining independent, family-owned daily newspapers in Vermont, we’re thankful for you (our reader), and to our valued advertisers whose support makes our continued existence possible.

Please shop local and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

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