Today is Saturday, November 1, 2014

Where we live should be high on our blessing list

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By SAM HATCHER

What we have we so many times take for granted.

At this time of year we are all so grateful for so many things.

We’re thankful for family, for friendships, for blessings of food, warmth, shelter and for so many other wonderful things.

Sunday I had the opportunity to attend a special reception honoring and celebrating the American citizenship of an Albanian family. (The story about the family and this event appears on today’s front page.)

As the family of five, including the mother and father and three children, spoke about their joy to become U.S. citizens, the room was filled with an unmistaken air of red, white and blue pride.

It was indeed quite an event with significant emotional impact.

To know what this family has experienced. To know about their struggles with war and poverty and suppression and to hear each of them say how happy and proud they are today to be American citizens was a vivid reminder that among our many blessings during this holiday season we should place high on that list the opportunity we have to live in a country governed by democracy.

Genti Tahiraj, speaking on behalf of his family, said only a few words but those words transmitted a most important message.

“We’ve been tremendously blessed,” he said with a considerable Albanian accent, adding, “We’re blessed to be in this country.”

Aren’t we all?

May we take this opportunity to welcome and congratulate the Tahiraj family on becoming U.S. citizens.

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