Think about retail workers
We Americans are blessed to live in a wonderful country. We have great freedoms. We have all sorts of beautiful scenery all over our nation. We enjoy so many freedoms that many people in other countries can hardly imagine. And yet we cannot set aside one whole day to just be thankful for those blessings.
I think Black Friday is rampant consumerism. I am so happy to see some companies closing for Thanksgiving and allowing their employees to have a chance to be with friends and families and hopefully to take some time to look back and count their blessings. I feel the businesses could wait until normal store hours to have their Black Friday sales and extend to Saturday.
I love a bargain as much as anyone, but I feel very sad that people are made to work terrible hours on a day we should be giving thanks. I was impressed with one young woman who waited on me earlier in the week. She was bemoaning having to work on Thanksgiving, but said she was just going to be thankful she had a job. It is a blot on our nation to see people fighting over a purchase and people even getting injured because of big sales.
I personally had some wonderful quiet moments this Thanksgiving morning, before anyone else in my home was awake, giving thanks to God for his blessings and now I'm ready to start cooking and enjoying this wonderful day.
Here are other letters we received about topics of interest to our readers.
Don’t bully national parks
How tragic that the Washington Post reported that the National Park Service was directed to divert nearly $2.5 million in entrance and recreation fees intended to improve our national parks. Instead, it was used to cover costs associated with President Trump's Fourth of July extravaganza on the National Mall.
And now, Trump has ordered national park rangers around the country including our own Great Smoky Mountain National Park to travel to the U.S.-Mexico border to work on border patrol. Park officials say that they will need to continue sending park rangers to the border through September 2020.
The National Park Service should not be a pawn in Trump's political gamble at a time when our national parks are understaffed and overcrowded. It is a travesty that a person in a position of power can selfishly bully and tweet until he gets his way. It will take years to regain what we have lost.
Keefauver Farm is for the birds
The Johnson City commissioners have an opportunity to create something wonderful in the community with the Keefauver Farm. With little monetary investment, they can provide housing for a local historical museum whose organizers are ready and waiting for that opportunity. They can provide a space in the barn on the property for the music performances that are overflowing their present sites, giving Johnson City a site similar to the Carter Fold. They can provide acres and acres of outdoor space for family picnics and recreation, frisbee games, soccer, trails to walk and other uncluttered experiences with nature.
As a birdwatcher, I was among those who were dismayed by the recent reports of a 30% decline in our bird populations. The only way to address that decline is to provide and protect the natural habitat they need to survive like this farm. Turkeys, bluebirds, woodpeckers, towhees, titmice, cardinals, robins, chickadees and more are all the current residents. Let’s keep it that way.
And importantly, they can keep the promise they made to the Keefauver family when they purchased the land to use it for the public good.
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