We don't know what the future will bring, but we do know we are thankful for many things.
As we head into the unknown - the first term of President Donald Trump and the many unknown changes his administration will make - we wonder what the next 12 months will bring to our nation, our communities and our families. How will our lives be impacted by the political and social turmoil?
When times are tough, it's difficult to see through the fog and find goodness in the world. We wind up questioning everything about our lives, including our faith and the meaning of it all. Yet the world continues to turn, and life goes on. Humans have learned that in times of peace and war, things can always be worse.
We're thankful for our friends and neighbors, for living in a free society, for all the good things small-town life can bring here in the Adirondacks. We're thankful for being able to live in a place that is well connected to the environment, a place that gives us an abundance of recreational opportunities, clean mountain air to breathe and clean mountain water. We're thankful for life here in the Adirondack Park.
As 2017 approaches, we look back to another time of turmoil, the first Thanksgiving during World War II. The year was 1942, and the Lake Placid News printed the following Thanksgiving message to its readers, many of whom were impacted the turbulent times:
"A Thanksgiving editorial is difficult to write during these war days. Last year there was confusion of thought with war in Europe and China and we could but think of them on that Thanksgiving Day.
"And now this holiday comes to us in a year of war for ourselves and we are more than doubly confused. Those of us who have no one near or dear to us in the service probably cannot encompass the thoughts of those who are deprived of their sons, brothers, fathers and husbands who are usually with them for the holiday featured by the turkey and harvest foods. Holidays are a lonely time unless all of the family is together although when the members are kept apart thru business or other ties it can better be borne than now when the men are at all corners of the earth trying to keep this land safe for us. In some spots where the fighting is at low ebb and in the training camps the boys will be trying to make a holiday for themselves. They will get hold of the best food which is available and have a feast. But this feast will be marked by a sense of false gaiety, the laughter will not ring true and the smiles will hold little brightness because they will wish themselves home, almost to the man.
"However those who have their loved ones absent must content themselves with the thought that they can be proud that they have menfolks sure and capable to do their parts in the conflict, to fight for their land.
"We may each of us be thankful that there seems a glimmer of hope that another Thanksgiving will see us nearer the end of these gloomy days. The task will not be finished but we should well be on our way to victory and to the days when the entire family may sit down to a dinner and not listen to the distant thunder of guns, or for the threat of bombing planes."
In 1945, the first Thanksgiving after World War II ended, the News put the holiday into perspective for a nation still reeling from turmoil and for the many families that lost loved ones who never returned home for another Thanksgiving:
"Actually, there are things to think about, things to be said and done. Thanks to be given, now that the war is over. We all know that, just as we know that the world is still far removed from a universal sense of giving thanks. But we also know that most of these things will hold for a day set aside for the kind of things we wish more people had a chance to think about.
"So, we're going to let it go at that. We're going to spend the day just thinking about some of the other things we don't have to think about - the land, the bounty and the goodness of associations. And if we can feel like this - like we did before the war - it will be something to be truly thankful for. It will be - yes an old American holiday."
This year, we remind our readers to cherish the time they have with their friends and family on Thanksgiving and during the entire holiday season. With the uncertainties of life, we're not sure who will be missing from that table a year from now. It would be a sad thing to miss the opportunity to make some lasting memories.