Holiday perfect time to bring nation together

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 25, 2004

The Tribune editorial staff

Today Americans pause from the daily grind of their daily lives to offer thanks. It is an annual ritual, one filled with images of family get-togethers (and squabbles) gorging on turkey and dressing and other holiday traditions. But the holiday can, and should, hold a deeper meaning this year.

Following the elections that showed how deeply divided our country can be on significant issues, this year's holiday could be a time of healing and a time of togetherness.

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The continuing war on terror and the tough fighting currently under way by our nation's military gives all Americans extra reason to be thankful this year.

First, we should be thankful that we live in a country in which we can disagree with one another about almost everything, from who will win the football game to who should be our leader. And despite those differences, we all share the common thread of being uniquely Americans. Our differences - and how we handle them - are one of the primary reasons our country is so special. To use a moniker often used to describe man's best friend, the dog, our country is a country filled with mutts. That's right, mutts. We're from all races, creeds, religions, nationalities and backgrounds.

The continuing concerns over terror threats and worries about our men and women in Iraq have, in some ways, brought our country closer together than ever before.

Second, we should be thankful that we live in a country fortunate enough to be able to lend its hand to other countries - whether that help comes in the form of disaster recovery or in helping to overthrow a regime tied to terrorists.

And even on that issue, our nation is divided. But perhaps today as we celebrate Thanksgiving, we will focus on working to bring our community together.

Making our community more harmonious will not cost one cent. In fact, it only takes a little effort to make a big difference.

And, more important, we can begin today.

Happy Thanksgiving.