Giving thanks

Published 8:57 am Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. We hope that it is a safe day for all, and one that you are able to share with family and loved ones to express thanks for all that we have been given.

To be sure, the holiday will have a backdrop of sadness and fear this year, of uncertainty and anxiety about the future.

But there is still much to be thankful for.

We live in a region that has been blessed several times over. Consider our beautiful, pristine forests and rivers. The productive farmland. Our clean air and water. Our rich cultural heritage. Our entrepreneurial, can-do spirit. Our never-say-die attitude. Our help-our-neighbor mentality. Our steely resolve.

And now consider another truth: There will always be naysayers.

They predicted the most unspeakable destruction with the arrival of the Civil War and its combatants. They were wrong.

They said the community would never embrace desegregation, that our schools would suffer and that it signaled the end of civilization. They were wrong.

They surmised in 1959 that the paper mill would go down the tubes under new ownership. They were wrong.

They shook their heads and said the businesses downtown would not return, that the city would never recover from devastating floods. They were wrong.

Now they say the region is truly doomed, to be done in ultimately by an industry that generations have been proud to work at.

Wrong again.

And there’s much to be thankful about that.