Five years ago, Thanksgiving, I wrote this. I knew I had found something good (though I didn't yet know that included someone who would love me, justice, and Philadelphia sports teams with more or less equal burning intensity).

This fall Dan and I got married. And this morning we were up in Bucks County, seeing the movie 'Lincoln' with my parents. To count just some blessings:

Getting to see that movie with my dad, who now lives at home despite sudden severe disability, thanks only to our still-present social safety net that gives him the choice to live in his own home with my mom instead of being trapped in a nursing home.

The fact that in this election enough Americans used their votes to make clear they want a country that sees us all having a stake in each other.

That there are advocates who fight for a fair shot for all who are treated as expendable: those working to restore lifeline state 'general assistance' benefits after they were torn away earlier this year through cowardly political maneuvering, as today's important piece sharply reminded us; those who are trying to cut through the many financial and political agendas in order to actually focus on what makes schools work for their students; and, always, those who daily devote themselves to people suffering addiction and trauma, giving a small or large beacon of kindness and understanding to people in the darkest places.

Thank you. These are "the ripples of hope" that travel out through the world, to quote Bobby Kennedy via that video where our president cried while saying thank you to the people who worked to elect him in hopes of moving us towards a more just world.

A Thanksgiving message from Hugh Giordano

Hugh Giordano, the Philadelphia Green Party's 2010 candidate for state representative in the 194th and local union organizer, wrote the following on his facebook:

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Thanksgiving. We must remember that there are many out in this city and state that did not have such a happy Thanksgiving. Families who who can’t pay their bills, have no healthcare, bad jobs or no jobs, poor education - Or live in the street and shelters. Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks, but we must remember to care for others besides just family and friends. If we all showed even half the love to human kind as we do our primary family, the world would be a better place.?

I am thankful to have rights to defend

Thanksgiving is the most American of holidays. It is rooted in our founding myths, in the struggle of European immigrants to understand and survive in a new land. In the triumph of perseverance and neighborly virtue over the harshness of the world we find ourselves in. We gather together with family and friends and eat new world foods to celebrate the survival of our founding settlers and the most beautiful time of the year for much of our country.

This is my third Thanksgiving in America since spending the prior five Thanksgivings in England. Living there gave me a much greater appreciation of what it means to be an American, to have rights, and to fight for those rights. I am immensely thankful that I am an American and that we have rights for me to defend.

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