Weekly Column

Nov 21 2022

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! As Nebraskans have done for generations, we gather with family, friends, and loved ones this week to reflect on the many blessing in our lives and to share good news with one another.

It’s a time to reflect on what matters most and to tell others how much they mean to us. And of course, it’s a chance to bring out those cherished family recipes and make some delicious Thanksgiving dishes.

The holiday itself dates back to 1621 when the pilgrims braved icy waves in small ships to travel to the New World to find religious freedom and a better life. Partnering with Native American Indians of the Patuxet Tribe, the pilgrims endured the bitter winter of New England and gave thanks.

Thanksgiving was first recognized as a national holiday in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation to “set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.” By taking time to thank those fighting for freedom during the Civil War, President Lincoln reaffirmed America’s commitment to gratitude and our annual tradition of giving thanks for our many gifts.

And so, as Nebraskans come together to celebrate Thanksgiving, we are also coming together to celebrate the ideals that underpin the very fabric of our nation: freedom, hope, and opportunity.

While we celebrate this time of thanks, we should also keep in mind the less fortunate and those who may be alone or suffering. This year, many are feeling the pain of inflation and may have difficulty affording Thanksgiving staples. Others may be silently struggling with physical, mental, or behavioral health challenges that significantly impact their quality of life. I encourage you to reach out to these individuals and invite them to your celebration, if you are able.

Thanksgiving week is also a great opportunity to help those in need. I am always amazed at the many communities across Nebraska that volunteer their time and money to set up food drives, deliver hot meals, and organize other local events that bring people together.

During this holiday season, our nation is eternally grateful for our Armed Forces and all they do to defend our freedom and independence. We should especially take a moment to hold in our hearts those who are stationed overseas and unable to be with their families during this special time.

This year, I was proud to work with the American Red Cross on their Holiday Mail for Heroes program. This initiative allows Nebraskans to send holiday wishes to members of the military, their families, and our veterans. Just the small gesture of a handwritten note can go a long way to giving service members abroad a taste of home and a piece of that Thanksgiving spirit.

Thanksgiving provides us with an important time to stop and reflect. I know this Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for the love and support of family and friends. I am also incredibly grateful for the people of Nebraska. It is an honor and privilege to represent you in the United States Senate, and I’ll never stop fighting for you and our way of life.

From my family to yours, I hope you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Thank you for participating in the democratic process. I look forward to visiting with you again next week.

Pursuant to Senate Policy, petitions, opinion polls and unsolicited mass electronic communications cannot be initiated by this office for the 60-day period immediately before the date of a primary or general election. Subscribers currently receiving electronic communications from this office who wish to unsubscribe may do so here.