Like many Americans, I’ll be traveling home to be with my family for Thanksgiving. Home for me and my wife Debbie is West Chester, Ohio. It will be wonderful to spend a few days with our two daughters and make what I consider to be the best turkey brine around.
Before I go, I’ll stop in the Capitol Rotunda and look at Robert Weir’s painting depicting the “Embarkation of the Pilgrims.” In this scene, on the deck of the ship Speedwell, the Pilgrims kneel in prayer around a Geneva Bible, appealing for safe passage from the Old World. “God with us” is written on the ship’s sail, and in the distance, you can see a rainbow signaling the promise of a better life.
What a humbling sight. After all, these are the settlers who celebrated the First Thanksgiving and observed that “by the goodness of God, we are so far from want.”
Here we are, nearly 400 years later, still assembling for the feast and bowing our heads. Even in times not easily given to repose or reflection, we pause to give thanks for God’s grace. As we do, we ought to keep in our hearts all those whose sacrifices have kept this chain unbroken. Because of them, we are free to prosper and moved to show charity for those in need.
Thanksgiving is one of the permanent things. It is always with us, as is the mission of seeking a more perfect union. That I, the son of a bartender, have been given the chance to contribute to this work in the city that Washington built is something for which I am forever thankful.
I pray all Americans are able to enjoy the Lord’s blessings this holiday in good health and happiness.
John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, is speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Tell us what you’re thankful for on Twitter using the hashtag #TIMEthanks
Next Chelsea Manning