Thanksgiving is tomorrow and most of us will heartily embrace that uniquely American tradition by gathering family around us and by eating too much.

But it should mean more to us than a big meal and time off from work or school.

Perhaps we should pause to remember the tens of thousands of people in this country and abroad who are homeless, hungry and heartbroken because of a series of natural and man-made disasters.

Closer to home, we keep trying to help those families grappling with the heartache of the opioid epidemic and other dangerous drugs.

Drugs not only are killing people of all ages but also creating a new generation of lost children by overloading the foster care system, often with youngsters born addicted to illegal drugs with no parents able or willing to care for them.

We are stunned over and over by the senseless mass killings which have invaded even the sanctity of our houses of worship.

And we will never understand how and why nearly 50 police officers have been killed in the line of duty this year in our nation, more cruel examples of the price of freedom.

Instead of celebrating our right to vote and our neighbor’s right to support someone else, too many of us filled the political season with words of anger and hate.

Amid so much carnage and despair, we offer some suggestions to include in your family’s list of blessings.

• The unconditional love and support of family members and friends who stand with us in good times and bad.

• The warm embrace of a supportive church family led by dedicated men and women committed to doing the Lord’s work and to strengthening our faith.

• The miracle of modern medicine which allows us to live longer and to enjoy a better quality of life than did our ancestors.

• The opportunity to pursue a profession or vocation that provides a standard of living allowing us and our families to realize the American dream.

As we gather with our loved ones tomorrow, we should openly express our sincere feelings for each person sitting around our Thanksgiving table.

And we should be joyful that we still have the means and opportunity to embrace those we love on such a special day.

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