Weekly Column: Thanksgiving 2020
Guest column submitted by U.S. Senator Mike Crapo
This Thanksgiving has me thinking back over all this year has brought—both the enormous challenges and the progress. Like so many Americans do during Thanksgiving, I am counting my blessings, and I look to this ending year and the year ahead with an expectation fueled by American resilience seen in all corners of our great country.
I am thankful for living in this free country, for our Constitution, which gives us so many rich blessings. Not the least of these blessings are our personal freedoms and a strong union of states, each of which is unique and incredible, adding its own strength to our republic. I am forever thankful for the men and women of Idaho and all of our other states who have put their lives on the line to protect and preserve these wonderful freedoms. Many of these great Americans have given the ultimate sacrifice, and many are living the rest of their lives with the sacrifices they made for our freedom.
My heart is heavy for the families who have lost those they hold dear, lost homes to storms and wildfires, or lost hope. While it is clear we have considerable work ahead to recover from the pandemic and fully restore growth and opportunity, Americans will once again meet the challenges. We have great examples all around us of the determination driving our renewal.
- In Lapwai, Micah Bisbee set up a system with her family to provide food and other necessities to area residents struggling through the pandemic.
- When Boise restaurants had to close their dining rooms earlier this year to combat the spread of COVID-19, the owners of Andrade's Restaurant built on their earlier efforts to provide free meals to children by providing free meals to those affected by the pandemic. They, like many others across Idaho, have provided food and resources to laid off workers and others to weather the pandemic.
- To address anxiety and loneliness, Twin Falls High School senior Hayden Neff worked with businesses to create face gaiters to raise awareness about the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline Call/Text (208) 398-4357.
- Battelle Energy Alliance (BEA), which manages the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), created the INL Cares initiative. Through this initiative, focused on economic development, health care education and food insecurity, BEA partnered with the United Way and other organizations to provide grants to local businesses for pandemic recovery, funds to local food banks and a student essay contest.
- These are just some of the many ongoing efforts where Idahoans have stepped in to help others as public health providers and first responders work tirelessly to adapt responses.
I am so thankful to live in the state of Idaho, where I have had the opportunity to know and work with the wonderful people all across this state. I have said many, many times that the best part of the privilege I have been given to serve as a senator for Idaho is the people and the friendship and relationships I have with them. I am also grateful for the incredible and beautiful environmental heritage we have in Idaho that allows us to have such a great quality of life, including clean air, clean water, the majestic rivers, mountains, deserts, the wildlife, the flora and the fauna, etc.
The challenges of the pandemic have separated families and friends, and this Thanksgiving may be very different for many Americans. However we celebrate this holiday and express gratitude for our blessings, America’s legacy of prevailing over our challenges remains central among them. I wish you a Thanksgiving close in heart to those you hold dear.
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