Sen. Dave Schatz’s Legislative Column for Nov. 23, 2021

Counting Our Blessings

Thanksgiving marks one of my favorite times of the year. This holiday offers each of us the opportunity to come together with our loved ones and give thanks for our many blessings. We are an incredibly blessed people, living in an amazing country, and we have much to be thankful for as we gather for Thanksgiving. While it was not until President Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation in 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that brought about an official national day of giving thanks, the history of Thanksgiving can be traced back far before his proclamation or even the founding of our country.

In 1621, the pilgrims at Plymouth celebrated a successful harvest with a three-day celebratory feast with members of the Wampanoag tribe, a group of local Native Americans. The pilgrims had endured numerous hardships during their long and difficult journey to the new world, but with the help of the Wampanoag tribe, they were able to survive and forge new lives, free of religious persecution. Likely served fowl, venison and other local fruits and vegetables, the menu of what would become known as the first Thanksgiving was probably much different than what you and I will experience this year. Nevertheless, the first Thanksgiving feast paid tribute to the teamwork and contributions that helped those early pilgrims survive difficult times.

Today, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the delicious food, the football games and the Black Friday shopping deals that always seem to dominate Thanksgiving. Sure, those things are a part of the holiday, and they even play a role in bringing us together, but it’s those we share the holiday with that really matter. It’s about coming together with family and friends, counting our blessings, reminiscing on memories of old and reminding our loved ones of how thankful we are to have them in our lives.

As you gather with your friends and family to celebrate Thanksgiving, I ask you to join with my family and say a prayer for our men and women serving overseas in the Armed Forces. Many of them will not be with their families this holiday season as they continue to put their lives on the line to keep our country safe. Their selfless sacrifices ensure our country continues to have the opportunity to come together and celebrate Thanksgiving — we truly are a blessed nation.

From my family to yours, we hope you have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving.

It is an honor to serve our community in the Missouri Senate. If you have any other questions or concerns about state government, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (573) 751-3678 or by email at — we are honored to serve you.