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Mark Archibald, Daily Sun columnist

Thanksgiving was my Great Aunt Katherine’s favorite holiday. She was a good-natured, kind woman who tried her best to find the positives in every situation. Seeing the joy in her eyes as we gathered around the table helped make the holiday memorable.

Although it’s sometimes common for families to share what they are thankful for on the day set aside for family and a meal, my grandmother’s youngest sister would remind us that there are reasons to be thankful every day of the year.

This year, as with any other, I couldn’t begin without thanking my mother and stepdad. Without her, I wouldn’t be, much less be who I am. She and I get into it from time to time, but I wouldn’t change a thing about our relationship any day of the year. I love and admire my stepdad, I appreciate his willingness to put up with both of us, surely because of his even and caring nature.

I am also immensely grateful for extended family and friends who continue to provide much needed strength, support, and often a willing ear as I continue to traverse life and work through the process of writing a weekly column.

Those currently serving in the military, and our country’s veterans deserve more than thanks for their unwavering and generations-long defense of our country, its interests and ideals. Because of the sacrifices they and their families make, America is the envy of the world. Too many take our freedoms for granted.

I appreciate the opportunity to write about civic organizations, government entities and the chance to meet and question those whose decisions will impact our daily lives. I am thankful that so many in our community continue to make their voices heard during the public comment portion of local meetings. No matter what is happening during an unpredictable year, interactions with elected officials and the public keep my mental juices flowing.

Though most say that politicians are a self-serving lot, in my experience the majority are good people who are looking to make a difference. Of course, citizens have the right to disagree and challenge government officials, but any chatter should be accompanied by potential solutions. It’s undeniable that some things need to change at all levels. I look forward to continuing to be a voice for accountability in our region.

In an October 2018 column, I identified education as my primary metric by which I would choose candidates in that year’s state political races. Education remains a pivotal issue, along with engaged parents, education is key to the success of future generations of Navarro County youth. Thank you to the faculty and staff of the local ISDs as well as Navarro College, each of you do your part to expand the horizons of those you serve and brighten our community.

Thank you.

At times, the last year has been difficult but as we reflect, many will give thanks for things big and small that are part of everyday life.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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