As we celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday, many of us think small scale.

For many of us, it’s closer issues of the moment: When’s the last time the turkey was basted, where‘s the Alka-Seltzer, where are we going to put all the leftovers,

what channel is the game on?

Most of us will give thanks for the usual things: The big dinner, our families, the state of our lives, those in Covid’s grip, those lost to Covid. That’s as it should be.

Few of us will give thanks for things that didn’t happen, or be thankful for things we don’t have, however.

This Thanksgiving, we should be thankful for those things as well.

Had some of them happened, we wouldn’t be having the kind of Thanksgiving we’re going to have tomorrow.

Consider:

--We didn’t have a national meltdown when the Civil War erupted April 12, 1861. The Union survived, unbroken into two nations.

--The South didn’t drag into years of guerrilla warfare after Gen. Lee surrendered.

--During John Kennedy’s short term of office, we didn’t have a nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis Oct. 16-28, 1962. Those my age remember those days, when any miscalculation -- and we came awfully close -- could have triggered a nuclear disaster.

--When Kennedy was assassinated Nov. 22, 1963, we didn’t have a national come-apart. The military or some splinter group of government didn’t take power, as so often happens in other countries when a leader is gunned down.

--Since Sept. 11, 2001 -- otherwise known as 9/11, we haven’t had any more similar terrorism incidents in the United States. Carried out by Osama bin Laden and others, those four coordinated attacks killed 2,996 people.

--We haven’t had any more domestic aircraft hijackings since 9/11. Ironically, many of us are more likely to cuss airport security than give thanks for once again safe skies.

--More recently, we don’t have bin Laden. Sent May 2, 2011 into whatever justice awaits him in the afterlife courtesy of Navy SEALS, the world is a better place with him sent on a one-way trip through some shark’s bowels.

--We haven’t had a container ship pull into an American port carrying a hidden nuclear/biological/chemical device, which some madman then detonated. There’s no smoking crater where New York or Boston or Savannah or Biloxi once stood.

We’re not completely cured of the plague of domestic terrorism, however.

Homegrown crazies brought us the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995. One hundred sixty-eight people died.

Major Nidal Malak Hasan, a U. S. Army psychiatrist, was convicted of killing 13 service members and wounding more than 30 others during a shooting rampage at Ft. Hood, Texas in November 2009. He admitted his guilt. Sentenced to death, he awaits execution. Many believe his actions were motivated by Muslim anti-Americanism.

We’ll survive the lower orders of life that bring us daily tragedy: The random shooters and looters, those who have snatched thousands of children off the nation’s streets, never to be seen again, the greedheads on Wall Street who don’t kill us -- except for the suicides they may cause -- but destroy thousands of lives.

Never forger that despite all that’s wrong with this nation, far more is right with it.

Tomorrow, as you say Grace, give thanks for all we have.

And don’t have.

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