By Beverly George
The first Thanksgiving can be traced either to 1607 in Virginia, or to the Plymouth Plantation in 1621, where English settlers, the first immigrants, held a feast with welcoming natives to offer thanks for a successful harvest.
Now it’s our turn, so in this extraordinary year, 2017, I’m giving thanks for the following.
- The friend who called a year ago to ask, “Do you want to march with me in January?” and also for the men and women to whom we extended the invitation who answered, “Count me in!” without a pause;
- Family members who held down the fort, ordered the takeout, fed and walked the dog, cheered the marchers from home, and recorded the TV coverage, so we could later see the global energy of that day;
- The men and women we’ve encountered this year who have shown the energy that can’t and won’t be held back, a “Yes, we can!” attitude so palpable and hopeful that remembering it lifts us again and again;
- New friendships we’ve made in the network of common purpose–embracing, celebrating, and saving the institutions and services vital to our democracy;
- The intelligent, capable, passionate speakers, who informed and engaged us at meetings and rallies;
- Sister organizations with whom we’ve joined to build a louder and stronger political voice;
- Community members who have opened their doors in friendship so that none of us is a stranger here;
- Elected representatives who listen to constituents, who have tried to find solutions to benefit all of us;
- The candidates who choose to leave their comfortable professions and homes to run for public office and make a difference in our communities; and
- The Virginia voters who showed us how to flip seats to create a more accurate, more diverse, and stronger representation for the 21st century.
For these and so much more, I am thankful.
ACE Leader Beverly George also is a member of Indivisible, the Naperville League of Women Voters, and the Citizens Climate Lobby. She also volunteers with her parish PADS group. A former chemist, George worked in clinical chemistry and hematology research at the Centers for Disease Control for six years and taught chemistry and freshman science at Naperville North High School for 20 years.