Nov 18 2011
By Rep. Kristi Noem
This Thanksgiving the Noem household will have about 40 family and friends over to our house for dinner. We’re not exactly sure where everyone is going sit but there is no question it is going to be a good time. Helping prepare the food for that many people is definitely going to cut into my deer hunting over the holiday weekend, but it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.
Thanksgiving is a truly American holiday and a favorite of mine. Rather than exchanging gifts or traveling to some exotic locale, most folks celebrate it with close family and friends by reflecting on all the ways they have been blessed.
As South Dakotans, we have a lot to be thankful for this year. Crop prices remain good, our unemployment numbers are much lower than the national average, and just this week reports came out about new jobs in Sioux Falls and the high demand for skilled workers in many other communities. While the flooding earlier this year hit many homes and businesses, we also had the chance to see what our communities are made of as neighbors came to the aid of those in need.
As Americans we also have many reasons to be grateful that we live in this exceptional country. We have freedom to gather, speak, worship, petition our government, and even protest. Many others around the world can only hope and pray for such freedoms. We also have a peaceful homeland where we are free to travel, earn a living and raise our families. Often times it seems newspaper and television stories only highlight the problems facing our country, but we shouldn’t forget our nation remains the envy of many around the globe.
I hope you and your loved ones take some time during this season to step back and reflect on all the things we have to be thankful for. You will be glad you did.
Rep. Kristi Noem is South Dakota’s lone U.S. Representative, elected in November 2010. She serves on the Agriculture, Education and Workforce and Natural Resources Committees.