Charles Dharapak, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Standing with their families, Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney stands with his wife Ann, and Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., second right, stands with his wife Janna after Romney's concession speech at his election night rally in Boston, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012.

My wife and I traveled to Boston on Election Day to attend what we hoped would be a Romney-Ryan victory celebration. Instead, of course, the night ended in disappointment for us.

However, I woke up Wednesday morning in Boston, feeling thankful for the miracle of free and fair elections in our country. One of the sweetest parts of our trip was the chance to attend a private breakfast with Gov. Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, and other supporters on the morning after the election.

As we listened to them summarize their experiences during the campaign and their thoughts about why they lost the election, we didn't hear any anger or bitterness or resentment. Instead, it was an honest and dignified assessment of the strengths and shortcomings of the campaign. I am thankful for the example from both Mitt and Ann that being graceful in defeat is as important as being graceful in victory.

I will always be thankful to the Romneys for their example of sacrifice, service, patriotism and, above all, their amazing grace. I am grateful for good men and women who answer the call to serve our nation in so many different ways, which gives me confidence that America's greatness will long endure.

I congratulate President Obama and wish him success in the difficult challenges that lie ahead in his second term — even as we disagree about the way forward.

Nate Sharp

College Station, Texas