On Thanksgiving

by NANCY SALVATO November 21, 2012
Looking at the Atlantic Ocean off the Virginia Beach coast, I occasionally see US Navy ships on the horizon, F-18 Hornets flying in formation, the Coast Guard helicopter overhead, and porpoise darting in and out of the waves; it’s just a part of the scenery.  Having lived in Glenview, Illinois, in the years prior to the naval base closing, and outside Annapolis, Maryland, for a year, I’m very used to seeing our men and women in uniform and experiencing a military presence where I reside.  What changes for me is a deeper appreciation for the job our military performs and for the freedom we cannot take for granted.
Most of the time I can go about my life following a routine that includes working on the Constitutional Literacy curriculum for our BasicsProject.org website, writing articles about the relevance of our Fundamental Law, taking my daily constitutional along the beach, and performing the chores that demand my attention, but never far from these distractions is the daily reminder that there are men and women who have dedicated themselves to our security; who have placed their lives in harm’s way to protect this absolutely ordinary life I am privileged to lead. 
Perhaps the best way to really understand this reality is to contrast it with another. Around the world there are people who live in countries where citizens have never experienced the freedoms that our government was instituted to protect, who will never have the opportunities afforded to Americans to innovate, lead, and maintain the lifestyle to which we are accustomed.  It is almost obscene to think that in some countries, children are subject to diseases long eradicated in our own country, hungry because there is never enough food to satisfy their appetites, and whose safety is at risk because fighting factions are unconcerned about the accidental loss of life during skirmishes and all out war between groups vying for power. 
Every four years we experience an election in this country in which power of office is transferred peacefully from one person to another.  How many Americans have endured a coup, war between an enemy power and our troops on native soil, or lived with the uncertainty which can stem from a majority faction taking power and changing the laws under which we operate.  This is because our written Constitution was designed to preserve our rights while providing the stability to grow stronger and wealthier as a nation. 
On this Thanksgiving, I give thanks for being fortunate enough to live in the United States of America; free from hunger, sheltered and safe.  I give thanks to the Founders and Framers who understood the opportunity freedom from British rule presented.  I give thanks for teachers who understand the difference between education and indoctrination and who do not treat people differently based on color, class, or religion. I give thanks for the consistency of family, for the unknown which lies ahead, and for the simple fact of being alive on November 24, 2012.
And to all those reading this commentary, have a blessed Thanksgiving.
Copyright © Nancy Salvato 2011

Nancy Salvato is the President and Director of Education and the Constitutional Literacy Program for BasicsProject.org, a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)(3) research and educational project whose mission is to re-introduce the American public to the basic elements of our constitutional heritage while providing non-partisan, fact-based information on relevant socio-political issues important to our country, specifically the threats of aggressive Islamofascism and the American Fifth Column. She serves as a Senior Editor for The New Media Journal. She received her BA in history from Loyola University and her M.Ed.in Early Childhood Education from National-Louis University. She is certified to teach in grades K-9 and 6-12 and as a teacher has worked with students in preschool, 1st, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 11th, and 12th grades. She has also worked as an adjunct instructor at the graduate school level. She continues to augment her education and areas of expertise by taking college courses and participating in a variety of workshops.

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