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Thanksgiving blessings surround us

This is one of those weeks when I get off the "beaten path" of politics and talk about something much more important. That important thing this week is Thanksgiving.

Politics truly pales in significance when we start thinking about our priorities in life. As Americans, we can and should be thankful for our form of government, which affords us many freedoms not enjoyed by others around the globe; but there are also many other blessings for which we should be thankful at this holiday season.

I could make a long list, but I am going to mention just five things for which I am thankful, and I feel certain you share most of these with me.

I am thankful for my family. I read somewhere that over 1,000 children under the age of sixteen lost one or both parents during the Twin Towers terrorist attack. This certainly makes us reflect upon the importance of loving our children and not taking our family lives for granted.

I am thankful for our churches. When I read about the imprisonment of six men and women in Afghanistan whose only crime was they promoted Christianity, it made me mindful of how thankful I should be to live in a land where we have the freedom to worship without fear of government opposition or intervention.

I am thankful for the United States of America. I attended the Alabama-Auburn football game last Saturday and the half-time show, not the football game, will be the thing I will remember for a long time.

The Alabama and Auburn bands, over six hundred in number, took the field together, side by side, to perform a salute to our country and its veterans and service men and women. This first of a kind unity displayed between our two major institutions of higher learning, and the performance they gave, was one of the most moving experiences I have had in a long time. It clearly reminded all of us present how blessed we are to live in the United States of America.

I am thankful for my good health. My father died at age 58 and my grandfather at age 46. I have been blessed to outlive both of their ages and I do not take my good health for granted. Truly, we live in the country in this world that has the most advanced medical services of any nation, but we also lead the world in cancer and heart patients. All of us need to give more attention to the things we eat and how we take care of ourselves.

I am thankful for the privilege of serving you as your State Senator. You have been kind enough to elect me to this office five times, and I have tried to use my experience and knowledge to be of benefit to Butler County.

I do not take you or this office for granted, and I try hard every day to be responsive to the interests of my constituents.

Let me take this opportunity to wish you a happy Thanksgiving and a most enjoyable holiday season. May God bless you and may God bless America, and remember that "I'll go with you or I'll go for you" to help you solve any problem related to state government.