Giving Thanks
Celebrating Thanksgiving with a speaker, a governor, a TV-show host, and more.


’Tis the season to be grateful. Here we have messages of thanks from some friends and family — some you’ll know and some you’ll be grateful to meet. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at National Review Online.

What a beautiful thing it is to live in a country where people of all faiths and backgrounds pause each year to give thanks and count the blessings we have received. The love of family, the comfort of home, and the reach of faith will be on my mind as I bow my head, offer humble thanks to God, and pray that He will continue to watch over this land we love.

Though we appreciate all we have to be thankful for, we are not as easily moved to rejoice when too many of our fellow citizens are out of work and in need. We can be grateful for the kindness and compassion of all who lend a hand to those less fortunate. We are also thankful for our entrepreneurs and small-business owners, whose spirit and determination strengthen our communities.

Of course, the promise of freedom and opportunity is preserved by the sacrifices of our brave sons and daughters in Iraq and Afghanistan, and around the world. That’s why we reserve our deepest gratitude for our heroes in uniform and their families.

John Boehner is speaker-designate of the House of Representatives.

Three years ago, on Thanksgiving morning 2007, I flew with almost 800 other soldiers from the 2d Squadron, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, to Forward Operating Base Caldwell in Diyala Province, Iraq, to start our battle with al-Qaeda. By God’s providence, on that very same day the little girl who was to become my adopted daughter was born in a tiny village in southern Ethiopia.

When we landed in Iraq, one of our troop commanders, no doubt sensing my fear and doubt, put his arm around me and said, “Lawyer, if you live through this, it will be the most important year of your life.” In many ways, he was right.

On this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for the band of brothers I served with, for the lives and courage of the men who gave all they could give, and for Naomi, our precious daughter, who is celebrating her third birthday in this world and her first in America.

David French is senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund’s Center for Academic Freedom.

Look at the world around us: the looming collapse of the EU; the lack of freedom in China, Russia, and much of the Middle East; the endemic poverty of Africa; the resurgence of drug cartels and destructive socialism in Latin America; the failed state of Mexico.

We all must pause this Thanksgiving and thank our creator that we live in a free and prosperous America, one that in recession and political turmoil remains an oasis compared to these bleak alternatives abroad.

On this holiday, we must reflect, and often so, how much our forefathers sacrificed for our present security, freedom, and prosperity — and how much responsibility rests on our shoulders to preserve and pass on something even better than the great good that we were bequeathed.

Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal.