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Letter: For many reasons, thank God for ND

To the editor,

On Thanksgiving Day, most of us pause at least a little bit before the turkey and football to think about the many things for which we are truly thankful. Family tops most lists, followed closely by the bounty and opportunity afforded by our great country and the many people who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.

Any thoughtful person must be thankful for these things and many more, but this year I will also be thanking God for North Dakota. Everyone should.

Though I grew up and lived in Pennsylvania for 24 years, I have lived in North Dakota for 35 years. Though I will never be a native, I proudly call myself a North Dakotan, and I seriously doubt that there is anyone more proud of their state than I am. I take every opportunity to tell folks that I come from a state with only about 750,000 people, but they are the most productive people on earth.

We lead the nation in the production of 10 agricultural commodities. And we're not talking about minor crops here either, things like wheat, barley, and even honey. We are number two in oil production. We produce electricity for ourselves, and parts of Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana and Iowa. Throw in significant natural gas, ethanol and wind power.

It's a pretty safe bet that almost everyone driving to grandma's house today, or sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner anywhere in the whole United States is enjoying some of the bounty that our hard work has provided.

I have been fortunate enough to travel widely in the United States and abroad. While there is beauty and great people everywhere, I have never returned home without thanking God that I live in North Dakota. The wide smiles and wide open spaces are a big part of that, and the clean living, water, and air makes this the best place that I can imagine to live.

So, my fellow North Dakotans, thank you for your hard work, dedication and the grit that allows us to shrug off a blizzard or two to make our world, nation, and especially our state a better place.

Ed Steadman

Grand Forks