While you’re giving thanks this week, take a moment to express your gratitude to the generous folks who are helping to receive and resettle Afghan refugees. They represent the very best of the American spirit: good-hearted and open-minded, a spirit that might flicker and fade in Washington, D.C., but that flourishes in communities across the country.

The indelible images of desperate Afghans fleeing their homeland flooded TV and computer screens for several weeks this summer. Then the images disappeared, but the real people behind those pictures remain — about 73,000 of them, now in the process of integrating into American life. They face some serious problems — mainly a severe shortage of affordable housing — but the kindness and commitment of their new neighbors has been overwhelming.