Our View: Thanks to readers and writers

Giving thanks

If it weren't for readers, this wouldn't be written

Happy Thanksgiving, and a hearty thanks to all of you who read these pages and contribute to them, both in print and online.

Those of us who are fortunate gather today with family and friends to break bread (and more, if we're fortunate) and enjoy one another's company. We take stock too, and give thanks for what George Washington called the blessings of our civic and religious liberties.

That can sound rote, but it's real. Religious liberty has kept the United States on the rational side of belief. That freedom and mutual respect keep disputes over matters of faith in the realm of theological debate and out of the realm of oppression or war. We take it for granted. In much of the rest of the world, they can't.

Every day, writers and readers reflect our civic liberties on these pages. We speak and write what we think, and while there's no constitutional guarantee of comfort in free speech, there is the constitutional guarantee of the right to free speech.

Freedom of speech is like voting -- it needs exercise. The power of the First Amendment lives in its expression by more than 220 years of Americans. Silence has its place, and silence may be golden, but silence would leave these pages poor.

Fortunately for those of us who build these pages, plenty of Alaskans refuse to remain silent. You keep the debate lively and these pages current.

For that, we say thanks.

BOTTOM LINE: Thank you all for reading and writing, and have a lovely Thanksgiving.