On behalf of the members of the URG Chaplaincy, I bid the members of the Rio Family a Happy Thanksgiving! The United States is not the only country to celebrate Thanksgiving. Canada, China, Germany and Liberia are among those countries that celebrate their own version of Thanksgiving. The dates for these celebrations vary from September to November. Some observances are religious based, giving thanks to God for His blessings. Others are festivals to celebrate the fall harvest.
What do American have to give thanks about this year? I offer some answers to this question: Americans live in a country that changes power peacefully by ballots, not bullets and blades. A strong military protects our country year round and the dedicated members of law enforcement and other emergency service workers daily go on duty to promote public safety. Americans have the Constitutional rights to such things as freedom of speech, the free exercise of religion and other rights not enjoyed by all other peoples or groups on Earth.
This Thanksgiving, let us be mindful of those who have lost so much in the California wildfires and those affected by the recent mass shootings in our country. Thanksgiving may seem a rather bleak time to them this year. Before Thanksgiving next year, may a season of famine for these people and their families be replaced by a bountiful harvest of blessings for them to reflect upon in 2019!
William E. Plants
URG Chaplaincy Coordinator