A long time ago, when I used to clip things out of real newspapers, I found this annual Thanksgiving editorial in the Wall Street Journal, and folded it neatly into my wallet. It is a spectacular piece of writing, and truly something worth remembering in our current era of digital anger, and 140 character rock fights.
The spirit of America is, indeed great. And her people are overwhelmingly good. And everyone who lives here, is blessed by our ongoing miracle of self-governance.
But we can all remind ourselves that the richness of this country was not born in the resources of the earth, though they be plentiful, but in the men that took its measure. For that reminder is everywhere—in the cities, towns, farms, roads, factories, homes, hospitals, schools that spread everywhere over that wilderness.
We can remind ourselves that for all our social discord we yet remain the longest enduring society of free men governing themselves without benefit of kings or dictators. Being so, we are the marvel and the mystery of the world, for that enduring liberty is no less a blessing than the abundance of the earth.
And we might remind ourselves also, that if those men setting out from Delftshaven had been daunted by the troubles they saw around them, then we could not this autumn be thankful for a fair land.