On October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln announced the nation would “observe the last
Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father.” This
announcement officially declared the last Thursday of every November to be a national holiday
This year, it’s no question we are facing hardships as a community, state, and nation. However,
we still have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. I especially want to highlight one of
our greatest blessings – our constitutional freedoms in the United States.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives, but it does not change our
inalienable rights. It does not change our right to assembly and association, protected by the First
Amendment. No governmental body can tell you who can and cannot gather in your home –
including the Governor. And for many Ohioans, Thanksgiving serves as a day of worship to
thank God for His many blessings. Your religious freedom is, of course, protected by the First
This is not the first pandemic America has seen, and it probably will not be the last. While our
way of life has changed this year, the Constitution remains the same. Thanksgiving is a time for
all of us to slow down and remember the blessings we are given. I believe one of the most
important blessings is being a citizen of the United States of America, where we can exercise our
First Amendment rights.
I hope you and your family have an enjoyable and healthy Thanksgiving.