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A Thanksgiving ‘Thank You’ to All Who Defend Liberty

November 24, 2022

The blessings of liberty are numerous, especially as we gather around our tables for Thanksgiving and enjoy time with loved ones. It’s the perfect time to give thanks for the freedom to live our lives the way we see fit—and to remember that freedom must always be defended.

This Thanksgiving, we’re eternally grateful to the service members who have done just that, putting their lives on the line so that we can reap the blessings of liberty.

We’re also thankful for the everyday patriots among us—those who choose to take a stand for liberty not because it’s easy, but because it’s right.

We’re thankful for patriots like the Riley family, whose two young daughters, Olivia and Keira, have a rare and terminal brain disease. The Riley family had to move to Italy to access the personalized gene therapy that saved Keira’s life—a treatment blocked in the U.S. by outdated federal regulations. Now Keira’s mom, Kendra, is boldly advocating for the Goldwater Institute’s Right to Try for Individualized Treatments—a groundbreaking reform that opens the door for patients to obtain cutting-edge medicine without first begging the government for permission. Kendra doesn’t want any more families to go through what hers did, and with the Riley family bravely sharing their story of hope and heartbreak with lawmakers and the public, Arizona became the first state in the nation to adopt this landmark reform.

We’re thankful for patriots like Kali Fontanilla, a former public school teacher in Salinas, California, who blew the whistle when she discovered her school was indoctrinating children through the teaching of Critical Race Theory. Even when Kali was harassed, demeaned, and threatened with violence, she kept standing up for what she knew was right. Her courage drew nationwide attention to the woke indoctrination infiltrating our schools and helped establish the Goldwater Institute’s Academic Transparency Act as the national standard.

We’re thankful for the thousands of Arizona parents who clamored for choice in their children’s education, and who stood their ground when special interests tried to snatch it out of their hands. Weary of a one-size-fits-all system, these patriots soundly rejected the teachers unions’ attempt to overturn the state’s landmark universal school choice reform—and they gave America a blueprint for how families can take charge of their children’s education.

Until the great American experiment, the sort of freedom these patriots defended was the exception, not the rule. Until our forefathers founded a nation based on a simple, yet revolutionary ideal: that the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—the right to live your American Dream—is for everyone. That timeless principle has spread like wildfire in America and among freedom-loving people around the world.

We’re grateful this Thanksgiving to everyone who has made sacrifices in defense of liberty—and we pledge to show our thanks by working alongside these patriots so that all Americans can live freer, happier lives.

From all of us at the Goldwater Institute, we wish you and your family a happy, healthy, peaceful holiday season full of freedom.

Victor Riches is the President and CEO of the Goldwater Institute.



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