Ah, it’s fall once again: Time for jack-o-lanterns, Jack Frost and for Mother Nature to spread her patchwork quilt upon her earthen bed.

Soon the holiday season will be upon us, and the first of the holidays is, of course, Thanksgiving. I wonder what the readers of this column are thankful for this year.

I am thankful I’m fortunate enough to be born here in America, the greatest nation ever. But what is it that makes America so great?

Because of America’s free enterprise system right from the beginning, we have led the world in exploration, invention and innovation. In 1903, Henry Ford built the first automotive company to employ mass production, which produced the largest automobile company in the world with an inexpensive product.

Fifty years later, America had a highway system to rival the human cardiovascular system. With the advent of the interstate highway system, America’s economy grew even faster and larger.

Orville and Wilbur Wright rolled out of their bicycle shop on Dec. 17, 1903, the first airplane to take off under its own power. In a mere 65 and a half years, America became the first to land on the moon. Who knew?

Who could have predicted where these two seemingly unconnected events would lead?

The automobile and space races have given us all sorts of products, from Super Glue to automobiles manufactured from light-weight steel and space-age plastic. This same free enterprise system built the most affluent middle class in the world and an economy where technical and medical invention and innovation through competition has led to quantum leaps in all fields.

I am truly fortunate, as are we all, to have been born in the greatest nation ever. I hope all Americans share the same sense of pride and wonderment and take time to be thankful this Thanksgiving holiday.

Dave Ricker, Wiscasset

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