Newest citizens remind us to be grateful

Most of us have good reason to pause and give thanks today. Our families top the list of blessings bestowed upon us, of course.

Something that happened last Friday in Cleveland is a reminder of one blessing we often overlook, take for granted, or even insist does not exist.

That day, people took the oath of citizenship to the United States of America during a naturalization ceremony. Having learned what it means to be an American — gaining in the process more knowledge of our nation than some native to it have — these men and women felt it important not just to live here legally, but to become Americans.

Why have they chosen to become Americans?

We as a nation have flaws. We make mistakes, sometimes of the heart and sometimes of the head. There are those who never tire of reminding us of that, of insisting our nation isn’t really anything special.

The 2,000 people, on average, who take that oath annually in Ohio probably would disagree. So might the estimated 43.8 million people in the United States who were born elsewhere.

Most people on this planet cannot even dream of the liberties and opportunities we take for granted here. Many of them would fall down on their knees in gratitude if they could only make it to our shores.

Today, then, let us be grateful for our many blessings. Let us recognize that living in the United States of American is one of them.

Happy Thanksgiving.