newport ri thanksgiving
The Bird - 2007

A few days ago we posted my original to be thankful list, and since then I’ve had a couple of new entries that I wanted to share. First here’s the premise and then the responses

In a couple of days we’ll gather with family and friends to participate in the one holiday that is truly American. We’ll gather at a time when our nation is divided, and after an election campaign that only deepened those divisions. There is legitimate concern, fear, that the rhetoric of this vitriolic campaign turns to action and the freedoms upon which this nation was founded are jeopardized.

So, I wanted to learn what it is we are thankful for this holiday season. I posed that question over Facebook and via email to a number of individuals. I did not seek out politicians, and, in fact, asked that responses avoid politics. I also asked for responses to exclude gratitude for our family and friends, and for health, all things we can agree are high on everyone’s thankful list. I wanted, as I wrote, to “dig deeper…to be more reflective.” And I said that I would share the answers on the radio shows I host and on these websites. My great experiment. I didn’t know if I’d receive a single response. I received several, and many that touched my heart and reminded me of what it is that we should truly cherish.


“I grew up in Pawtucket and world traveling was something you read about in the Sunday paper. Since then I have had the great fortune to travel to all parts of this world and meet interesting, fascinating and influential people. But whenever I set off the plane bringing me home I am so very thankful and grateful to live in this great country, warts and all. There is no place better on earth.” – former Congressman Bob Weygand


“In retrospect I see our country moving forward as it always does. Who governs the country has some input but we always prevail as the leaders of the world. I feel we should be content that what we possess as Americans the rest of the world wants. Our country and leaders will have to combat challenges that are more trying every day. Freedom and solitude are our salvations. It would be nice for world peace but that won’t happen just as it has prevailed since the first 2 people walked on this earth. There will always be problems and controversy but we will prevail. My Thanksgiving thoughts are toward personal freedom and love of family.” – David M. Gesualdi


I ran much of Mark Deion’s answer a few days ago, but here’s some more – and a great message it is:

“So, in answer to your question, I guess for the most part, I am thankful for being an American, living in a country where I have the freedom to speak my mind without retribution, to have the freedom to give unto others without having amassed wealth, to deal with young minds and old minds that haven’t been corrupted by the state of affairs,….to sit on a beach and watch the waves roll in (free of charge), and to sit in the back yard with my cat Jack, sipping on a glass of wine, watching the sun set as Jack the Cat chases birds or butterflies.  Often times, in the early evening, I call  friends on the phone, around the country or around the globe, and we talk about what is going on.  (One of the luxuries of today’s technology, because years ago, this would all be too expensive to do).  So, I am thankful for many things,…most of them simplistic in nature,….but, if you had one day left to live,…..your wishes for that one last day would most likely be simplistic in nature as well,…..a hug, a smile, a cat on your lap, the smell of a rose, a friendly conversation with a neighbor or a child, a good meal, a friendly waitress or bartender,….the smell and the sound of the ocean, the colors of a sunrise or sunset,….I have these things almost each and every day (with the exception of the beach stuff).  And, for that, I am forever thankful.  So is Jack the Cat who shares my sentiments.” — Mark S. Deion, CEO/President Deion Associates & Strategies


And so on this Thanksgiving Day cherish your family and friends, be thankful for that hug, that handshake, that smile. Celebrate each and every person around your table, remember those who are no longer with us, and admire those working at the homeless shelters, providing meals to those less fortunate. — Frank

Frank Prosnitz

Frank Prosnitz brings to WhatsUpNewp several years in journalism, including 10 as editor of the Providence (RI) Business News and 14 years as a reporter and bureau manager at the Providence (RI) Journal....