We have much to be grateful for on this Thanksgiving | Editorial

Each year, as individuals, many of us gather with friends and loved ones to give thanks for the incredible blessings in our lives.

As a community newspaper, the Whidbey News-Times has much to be grateful for.

First and foremost, we are grateful to exist in a free society, one in which the First Amendment protects everyone’s right to free speech.

The First Amendment is a simply constructed sentence, beautiful in its succinctness, masterful in the great power it affords each and every American:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Free speech is not a right enjoyed in all countries. American blood has been shed to preserve it. Blood is still being spilled around the globe by those in search of it.

That is one reason we respect to those who write letters to the editor, express their opinions and sign their names. They are exercising the greatest of rights.

Another right not allowed in some countries is the ability to vote. In the United States, we enjoy a system that allows us to collectively choose who represents us. We hire them to work for us, fire them if we believe they aren’t doing the job properly.

For the right to vote, we are grateful.

It’s our hope that those Americans who are apathetic about voting will some morning wake up and realize what an incredible privilege it is to cast a ballot.

We are also grateful to live in a society in which people can agree, disagree or agree to disagree, where even ugly speech is rightfully protected under our Constitution.

As a community newspaper, we realize we have an awesome responsibility and that we are held to a high standard.

It’s a given that not everyone will like what appears on these pages, nor is it expected everyone will — especially the Opinion page.

Wonderfully, in the end, we are all one community, working together to build a better future for those who will follow in our footsteps.

To all of our readers, advertisers and their friends and families, we wish a very happy Thanksgiving.

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