The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

November 22, 2012

Politicians speak out with Thanksgiving wishes


From Staff Reports

— If Thanksgiving finds you awash in blessings, Sen. Joe Manchin says they should be shared with the less fortunate.

“If you can count your blessings, you can share your blessings,” Manchin said Wednesday, echoing the advice passed on to him by his parents.

“No other national holiday reflects the American character more than Thanksgiving. It is the one day of the year that the entire American family gathers together to give thanks for the blessings we enjoy in this great country. And we do so no matter what is happening in the life of our country — whether in war or peace, in boom or bust, in triumph or tragedy.”

On that same theme, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., voiced gratitude to live in a state where people come together in times of need to help one another out.

“I am continually impressed by the selflessness exhibited by so many, as thousands of our neighbors suffered during and after the two storms that rolled throughout West Virginia this past year,” she said.

Capito saluted the first responders, utility workers, Division of Highways workers, volunteers and media employees who worked 24/7 to keep West Virginians safe and updated, before, during and after the derecho and Hurricane Sandy.

She and Manchin, D-W.Va., joined Sen. Jay Rockefeller in applauding the men and women in uniform who provide national security.

“Many families will find an empty seat at the Thanksgiving table this holiday season because of loved ones serving overseas or, sadly, many have paid the ultimate sacrifice while protecting freedom and opportunity for the rest of us,” Capito said.

“We will always remember veterans, those serving and their families.”

Rockefeller said the summer windstorm and October snow blizzard remind West Virginians of the value of the National Guard.

“When the effects of severe weather hit our state, I knew we would all pull together,” the senator said.

“These are the times when West Virginians show our true colors and help out family, friends and neighbors in need. It’s also when our community leaders and emergency managers really step up — working closely with National Guard, police officers, firefighters, and EMT workers to help and protect those affected.”

Manchin pointed out that many in uniform are putting in third, fourth, even fifth tours of duty.

“The soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines of the United States of America are true blessings to all of us, and this Thanksgiving, I will offer a special thanks for their service and sacrifice,” he added.