A Veteran’s Thoughts
By Ski Ingram
November is my favorite month of the year. A few but not all of the reasons are, the days and nights are becoming cooler after the normally hot summers. The leaves on the trees are turning a beautiful yellow, brown and orange, and best of all we celebrate my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. I am thankful for many things, one being my appreciation for George Washington one of our greatest presidents and of his faith in God. Thanksgiving is the day he set aside to thank the Lord for this country and all it stands for in the world.
On October 3, 1789, President George Washington published what has come to be known as his Thanksgiving Proclamation. It states, in part, “Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor—and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness. Now therefore, I …assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.”
My loyal readers know how much I love this country. I have written about how thankful I am to live in this great country many times. However, you may not know about the Ingram family Thanksgiving tradition. While gathered around the dinner table, after eating too much, we pass around the “thankful box.” Before dinner everyone in attendance places three or four slips of paper in the box. Each slip has written on it one of the things that person is thankful for that year. We pass the box around the table with each person taking a slip from the box and reading the words written on it. We then try to guess who wrote that thankful. The person who wrote it confesses and then is given the opportunity to expound on why he or she is thankful for that particular thing.
In keeping with this tradition, and to turn our hearts to thankfulness, this year I have asked my readers to tell me what they are thankful for. I’m very happy to say that many responded and I will share some of these responses here. I wish I could include everything my friends shared with me but I have limited space here. I am very pleased to say that everyone who responded cited their love of country, their love for their family and friends and their love for God and their Savior Jesus Christ.
RexaLee, who I have know for more that 45 years, told me she is grateful that she was able to be with her mother on her 99th birthday. She is also thankful that she and her husband are still healthy and that Jesus answers their prayers, even if she doesn’t always get what she asks for.
Wilbur wrote that he is thankful he grew up during the Great Depression in rural Wyoming with parents who taught him to be honest and hardworking. He is thankful for indoor toilets, hot and cold running water, electric appliances, and rapid transportation and communications, none of which he had growing up. “I am a firm believer in God, our Heavenly Father and in His Son, Jesus Christ and the gospel that has guided my life! I know that the constitution of this nation was inspired and the men who started this nation were guided and inspired.”
Stanley, wrote that he is very grateful to have been born in America. Stanley and I were in the same police academy class and then served as partners for more than five years with a southern California police department. Stanley has a unique experience that few people today have. He served as a military police officer in South Korea before working as a police officer for 30 years. After retiring he rejoined the Army and served in Iraq as a combat engineer. After living overseas in two war-torn countries, Stanley is grateful to live in America with its creature comforts and its relative safety. He is grateful for the experiences of his life. He is grateful to have been able to serve with some of the best fighting men on earth and to have been able to retire from police work honorably. He is thankful for his wife, Peggy, who has supported him in everything he has done. Stanley says that she is truly a gift from God. After recovering from cancer last year, he thanks God for the gift of extra time on earth to experience the “blessings of grandchildren, the continued blessings of having friends and the blessings of American citizenship!”
After overcoming cancer last year myself, I am also grateful for my faith in God and Jesus Christ. I am thankful for God’s gift to me of extra time on earth to enjoy my family, my friends, and you, my readers, who support me in what I do. Most of all I am thankful for my wife, Diane, who is also my gift from God.
I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. Let us all take time to reflect on our blessings this year and not our troubles.
Ski Ingram is a member of Lester Keate Post 90 of the American Legion in St. George, Utah who now lives in Gilbert, Arizona. He is a combat veteran and is a life member of five different veteran’s organizations as well as the NRA. He can be reached at Ski@Skiingram.com Or www.Skiingram.com