SIKESTON - Amid all the confusion and fear in the world today following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, one can't help but wonder what tomorrow will bring.
Yet as uncertain as the world is, many residents remind us there is still plenty to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
"We take things for granted most of the time and these events have made me stop and think about each day and thank God that he gives us each another day," said Tara Hux.
Thanksgiving has a special meaning to Diane Chappell because it is a time to spend with family and reflect on special memories and events. "It is good to have a day set aside just to be thankful to God for all his blessings," she said.
Hux urged residents to count their blessings rather than use their energies to hold grudges or complain about what they are missing.
"This Thanksgiving I am thankful for a healthy pregnancy, my wonderful husband, my family and my dog, Morgan," she said.
"I think this Thanksgiving will be different than those in the past because with all the events that have happened, it just seems to be more special."
East Prairie Police Chief Danny Lafferty described Thanksgiving as a time when family and friends come together to celebrate a special day in our country's history and to give thanks for "all the great things that have happened in our lives.
"In light of all the things that have been happening around the country, I think this year I will be more thankful and appreciative for all my family and close friends," he said.
"I think we all had a wake-up call in September and should be thankful we live in a country that can come together and support each other no matter what," said Missy Marshall. "Our reactions to the events in September and since just show we do care about one another."
"The terrorist attacks and scares have made us more aware of the importance of family and country," agreed Chappell. "We should continue to be thankful and pray for God's guidance in our daily lives. As with most people in the United States, I feel that this Thanksgiving will not only be a day of thanks but a day of prayer for our country and what is most important.
"God has given me so many blessings that I would never be able to list them all," Chappell said. "I have been given a wonderful family that loves me and supports me no matter what. I am thankful for my friends, my church and my church family. I am privileged to work in a job that I feel is a calling and that I receive blessings from every day."
She remarked she is thankful to live in a country that allows her to thank "her God" for her blessings any way she chooses and she is thankful for those who have fought and died to ensure these freedoms.
When Dr. Charles Baker thinks about Thanksgiving what first comes to his mind, too, are the many blessings shown to he and his family.
"I give thanks to God for our country and for its great people and I know that he will be forever at our side," Baker said.
It didn't take Marilyn Grant long to come up with what she is most appreciative for this year. "I'm thankful that I live in America, for my church family and for seeing life experienced through the eyes of my great-grandnephew, Cooper Allen Grant, who will be 3-years-old in January.
"I'm also very thankful for my health and the health of family and friends," Grant said. "If I can hit that floor under my own steam, it's a good day."
"This Thanksgiving I am thankful to God for my health and thankful for his guidance in the decisions that I have to make," said Lafferty. "I'm thankful to my police officers and communications officers. I've very thankful to my wife, Sharron, for her devotion and support to my career."
Marshall said there are any number of things she is thankful for this Thanksgiving. "I am thankful to have a loving family and good friends. I am thankful to have a job I enjoy, the opportunity to give back to my community through volunteerism and I am thankful to live in a community that continues to strive to become better."
Each asked the community to say a special prayer of thankfulness on Thursday, reminding them to remember what really matters.
Lafferty's wish is that everyone will not only think about the problems within their city, but that they can do to help solve them.
"We should continue to be thankful because as bad as things seem to be in this country, there are many countries that are much worse," he said.
Hux's Thanksgiving wish is that everyone has a safe and happy holiday.
Meanwhile, Marshall suggested appreciating the small things in life and not taking anything for granted. "I hope everyone celebrating with family and friends takes time to enjoy the moment. Time passes quickly and we need to stop once in awhile and appreciate what we have right in front of us."
"This Thanksgiving remember to concentrate on the important things in life, as this life is short and we have a lot to accomplish," added Chappell. "Reflect on the things that make your life special. Be thankful for blessings that give life meaning. Be willing to allow the everyday blessings to make your life special."