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Thanksgiving chance to celebrate freedom by showing love

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Brad Little

Thanksgiving is one of the most patriotic holidays we celebrate as Americans.

Four hundred years ago this month, a group of passengers landed the Mayflower after a months-long journey across the sea to start a new life. The Pilgrims stepped foot onto what would become the greatest country in the world — the ultimate reward for their efforts to escape religious oppression in England.

The “first Thanksgiving” would follow a year later, after months of battling brutal weather and disease in a new land.

The religious and Christian significance of Thanksgiving in the history of our country has grown into other traditions, such as gathering to feast on turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie.

Americans have celebrated Thanksgiving for centuries past, and we will celebrate it for centuries more. This Thanksgiving is a day of gratitude for the blessing of being an American and a day of reflection on how we choose to enjoy our freedom.

This Thanksgiving we are called as Americans and Christians to exercise our freedom in a new way — by choosing to protect our loved ones and neighbors from a dangerous disease spreading in our communities.

It is a disease that has put thousands of our fellow Idahoans in the hospital and has left hundreds of Idahoans dead.

It is a disease that threatens lives, our economy, access to healthcare, and our children’s ability to learn in the classroom with their teachers and classmates.

It is a disease we all have the freedom and power to control, through simple personal actions. We can be thankful for our individual ability to slow the spread of this disease and protect our loved ones and neighbors from it.

Just like those early Pilgrims, Americans have been through trying times before. We have always pulled through when we choose to unite and sacrifice to protect one another and our nation.

This Thanksgiving choose to love your neighbor and unite around our commitment in seeing our country thrive for future generations of Idahoans and rejoice in the blessing of being an American.

Brad Little is governor of Idaho.

About Gov. Brad Little