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Thankful 364 other days a year

The other day, my fiance and I were in the car. He turned to me and said, "You know what I was thinking on my way over to your house?"

After shaking my head, he went on: "I was thinking that I sometimes forget how lucky I am. I get so caught up in praying for what I need next or wishing certain circumstances were different, that I forget to be thankful for what I've already been given."

Few things have made me stop and reflect the way his words did that day.

In November, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. Before the lauded meal, it might be customary to go around the table and say whatever it is you're thankful for.

Maybe you're thankful for your family, your health or your job.

On this one day, many of us remember the things and people for which we are thankful, but what about the remaining 364 days of the year?

It is easy for us to turn on the news or open our Internet browsers and pick out all the things that are wrong with the world. It is equally easy to forget that amid the reports of foreign conflict and natural disaster, there are still reasons to give thanks every day.

This November, I am going to make a more concerted effort be thankful every single day. Each day, I will choose something to be thankful for and then post that something on the Kansas Room's Facebook page. In addition, I am asking patrons throughout the month of November to stop by the library and write down the things or people for which you are thankful. I'll be collecting these comments and putting them on display outside the Kansas Room. I'm hoping to collect at least 50 comments, so please stop by the library and let us know why you're thankful.

One thing we can all be thankful for as Americans are our veterans of foreign wars. Every year on Nov. 11, we are given the opportunity to remember the courageous men and women who have served and continue to serve in our nation's armed forces. While, for some, this annual date may only mean a day off work or a notation on a calendar, I've found that this day means more to me as I get older.

More and more, I find myself thanking veterans and active servicemen and women for their service. I am grateful to those who volunteer for military service and I am incredulous at the nobility of those who bravely served without being given a choice.

In homage to Veteran's Day, the Kansas Room and the adult services department of the Hays Public Library are hosting two events to coincide with the holiday. At 1 p.m. Friday in the library's main floor gallery, Steve Arthur from the Ellis Public Library will give a presentation on Walker Army Airfield. This presentation is free and open to the public. Anyone with interest in military history or who has specific memories about Walker Airfield is encouraged to attend.

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, the adult services department will show a series war-themed feature films in the main floor gallery. The films include "The Dawn Patrol," "Flags of our Fathers," "The Steel Helmet" and "Rescue Dawn." Please see the library's website, www.hayspublib.org, for more details on what times the films will be shown.

Remember, stop by the Hays Public Library this November to let us know why you're thankful.

The Kansas Room is located in the basement of the Hays Public Library and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Lucia Flaim is Kansas Room Librarian at the Hays Public Library.