By Chelsea Albers, JMI Intern and Florida State University Junior in International Affairs & Languages
This year we celebrate the 389th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving feast at Plymouth, and if Americans aren’t careful, they could easily lose sight of the true meaning behind this historic holiday. Many struggling families will notice the rise in food prices, resulting in a more expensive Thanksgiving meal; many will not be able to afford the increased gas expense of traveling home this weekend; and some will be disturbed by the new TSA body scanners and pat-downs they have to endure when flying home.Although we should not ignore how the government’s policies are affecting our holiday, perhaps this weekend we should consider what America has to be thankful for. Focus on the glass half full.Whether you agree with the current government or not, appreciate that you have the right to dissent through free speech. Be thankful that America holds fair, honest, and non-violent elections–that our government is selected by the people, for the people. Be thankful that you have the freedom to practice the religion of your choice and pursue the career path of your choosing.You only have to look across the Pacific, to the South, or over the Atlantic to find examples of countries that do not enjoy the same liberties that we do. Be gracious towards those soldiers who risk their lives for your freedoms and defend America’s independence.Americans enjoy the most rights of any nation in the world, but we must first cherish the rights and liberties which the U.S. Constitution grants us if we expect to preserve them. Should American freedom fall, there would be nowhere else to go.Be thankful that you live in the freest country in the world and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!