Thanksgiving is an ideal time of year to remember and be grateful for all you have in your life. Maybe someone once helped you out. Or perhaps you'd like to honor a good deed someone did for another person. This holiday encourages people to pause, be grateful and spread good deeds. So before the rush of the holiday season begins in full, count your blessings and list the people you're thankful for, just as these people have done:
Mattie Stepanek. His courage, optimism, internal beauty and absolute love for life is inspiring and has been life changing for me. He has taught me in his poems and by example that life is a gift to be treasured, and that being happy and grateful no matter what is the way to live. I am so thankful that there is someone in this world like Mattie. —Bianca Anglim from Denver, Colo.
Firefighters. I will never forget what those firefighters did for our country on Sept. 11, 2001. God bless the USA. —Kim from Texas.
Iqbal Masih. Iqbal Masih - the late 12-yr-old carpet weaver from a country on the other side of the world - will be, eternally, my hero. He began to help the anti-slavery movement. At 12, he had helped liberate 3,000 children from bondage. He was subsequently honored by the International Labor Organization in Sweden and by Reebok, which presented him with its prestigious Human Rights Youth in Action Award (for "his courage and ingenuity in righting a centuries-old wrong") in Boston in December of 1994. — Pauline Tibbertsma from Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.
|"Handsome Lake Preaching His Code at the Longhouse" by Ernest Smith - Image courtesy of the Rochester Museum & Science Center
Handsome Lake. A Seneca chief and prophet known as the Peacemaker brought a message of peace to the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He helped the Haudenosaunee figure out a way to live with the new Americans, to be thankful and continue the thanksgiving ceremonies. —from the book, "The American National Biography," edited by John Garraty.
Jason Sehorn.He is a great hero for his accomplishments in life and in football. The New York Giant cornerback...gives credit to his mother for all the success in his life. In 2000 he set up Sehorn’s Corner, a foundation that helps single-parent families, The foundation’s second annual “Turkey Trot” bought 50 Thanksgiving Day meals for single-parent families in Elizabeth, N.J. —Samuel from Starkville.
My adoptive mother and father. They're my real parents, and I'm thankful for them because they did something that not a lot of people would want to do.They gave me a different life and a future to look forward to. — Susan from Battle Creek, Mich.
My brother-in-law Brian. Some of the ways he is nice to me is he is always sticking up for me when people put me down, and he also spends a lot of time with me when I am bored. I am glad that my sister married this man because I don’t think any one else would be nicer than he would. —Nathan
Grandma. She is my hero, she took good care of me while I was at her house in Switzerland and I got hurt. —Maral Schmid from Mumbai, Maharastra, India.
My sister. She tells me not to mess with drugs, so I don't. She is a good influence on me. —Ashley Huggins from Mt. Carmel, Ill.
My mom. She cares for me when I'm sick, and when I'm not. She helps me with my homework. When I'm hurt, my mom cares for me. I love her. —Michele D. from Whippany, N.J.
My dad, Gil Velazco. My hero is my dad. He used to live in the Phillipines. He is my hero because he saved me from drowning. —Chris Velazco from Cherry Hill, N.J.
Daimon Lydick. He is my 15 year old black cat. He adopted me when I visited the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter. He was a trooper when we lost our home in the 1993 fires. My husband passed away just 5 months after moving back into our new home and, again, Daimon took care of me. He knew I was suffering and he missed Larry, too. Daimon is my hero because he has survived fires, moves, loss of a person near and dear to him and the addition of a bratty kid sister. And, he fights everyday to stay alive because he loves me and doesn't want to leave me. And, I love him with all my heart too. —Martha Lydick.
My grandmother Gloria She overcame her terrible childhood and adopted me. Now she is trying to get my sister and me to help us overcome our childhoods. Christina from Laguna Niguel, Calif.
John Winston Lennon. —Vlada from Ramat-gan, Israel.
My step-sister. She believed me when I said my step-father (her father) was abusive. He's in jail now. I live with my step-sister. My life is so much better now. She saved my life. —Maria
|Rosa Parks refused to ride in the back of the bus.
Rosa Parks. She fought for the rights of black people.— Kassee from Peoria, Ariz.
Thomas Edison. If he didn't invent electricity, who knows where we would be today? —Joshua from Cherry Hill.
My dog Chester. He jumped into the pool and pulled me out of the water when I couldn't swim. —Blanca from Inglewood, Calif.
Jim M. My dad is my hero. Not only does he sacrifice many things for our family, but he also looks out for my well being and he has changed my life forever. He is my shining star and one of my closest friends. I thank God every day that my dad was given to me out of all the people I could have been stuck with in the world. —Kelley M. from Joplin, Miss.
The Lifeguard. When I was at Raging Waters, I became trapped and the lifeguard saved me. I am still thankful for this rescue. —Laura Grandi Hill from San Jose, Calif.
Walt Disney. My hero is Walt Disney because he influenced kids all over the world with movies and animation. —Rena from Farmington Hills, Mich.
Sri Aurobindo. The students of Sri Aurobindo International School selected Sri Aurobindo as our impressive hero because he inspired us with his good deeds and excellent teachings. —Aarthi form Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India.
My brother Ron Kovic. He saved my life once. Confined to a wheelchair years after coming home from Vietnam, he jumped out of his chair, tackled me to the living room floor and smothered the flames when my Cub Scout uniform caught fire as I cooked on the stove. Thats something I'll never forget. —James Kovic from Norwich, Conn.
Ben Carson . His ability to rise from stupor to become the best neuro-surgeon, his humane interaction with patients, his deep thoughts on international issues and his Bible-based lifestyle makes him perhaps the best brain that has ever lived. —Sunsay Oguntola from Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria
Mother Teresa. We were living in Calcuatta before during and after the Bangledeshi War. A group of us from the international community gathered every week to package pills for the lepers for Mother Teresa. So many people have have been helped by this woman. —Georgialee Granger from Laguna Woods, Calif.
Alex. Last month, I was in London visiting my sister Carol who is studying at college there. Through a violent incident, we met Alex. He was experienced in helping people, a teenage vigilante good samaritan, and I find that quite inspiring. —Kate from Chicago, Ill.
My great grandfather Josoph Mele. The reason why he is my hero is because he fought in the World War II. —Shawna Espere from Honlulu, Hawaii.
My mom She is always there for me. She never leaves me behind. She is the nices person I have ever met. I will always love her with all my heart.—Danielle Michelle Jackson from Benbrook, Texas.
My dad Victor Asaro. My dad is really cool, he works at Barnes and Noble and he is 46 years old. My dad was born in Japan, but he moved to America and lived in many different places. My dad is my hero because he encourages me to do and try new things. — Kenny Asaro from Scottsdale, Ariz.
PEOPLE TO BE THANKFUL FOR