I love Thanksgiving. It is the largest secular holiday in the United States. A holiday shared regardless of religion, ethnicity, language or political persuasion. This day inspires generosity and gratitude, what could be better?

We have much to be grateful for. I don’t mean the things we own (though a safe home, warm clothes are important). I am very grateful for opportunity. Regardless of your circumstance almost all of us have the opportunity to grow, learn, achieve and give. Our access to opportunities are as varied as there are people. The path may be crooked, it may be difficult and perhaps long. I should know, it took me 16 years to get back to college after dropping out at age 19. Still, the opportunity to go to college was always there.

I am especially thankful that our forefathers and foremothers had the genius to lay the foundation for a free society. Preserving opportunity requires tolerance. Limiting it for some limits it, period.

While the turkey roasts and fills my house with a delicious smell, I am thankful for the opportunity to live freely. I am thankful for those who have, are and will defend us with their lives and to our forefathers who dedicated theirs to give birth to this complicated, messy, priceless, republic.