Thursday, November 26, 2020

This has been a trying year for each and every one of us, our communities, and our nation, and we have faced new issues every day. And yet, these circumstances have also brought forward the strength, courage, and resilience of so many who have worked, sacrificed, and cared for our individual and collective needs. 

399 years ago, pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts celebrated the "First Thanksgiving" in 1621. Their great gathering for friends and families to express appreciation for the necessities of life established itself a revered tradition. This Thanksgiving is very different from the ones that have come before; many of us are separated by the measures that protect us against the deadly virus that has taken such a heavy toll. And yet, I hope we will still find a way to give thanks - thanks to the people who have made a difference, thanks to the people in our lives who we care about and who care about us, and thanks for the promise of a brighter tomorrow that springs always from American perseverance, optimism, ingenuity, and a commitment to the fundamental values of justice, liberty, and equality for all. 

Wherever and however we gather this Thanksgiving, I hope that we will take the time to remember what's important, to think about each other, to remember those who serve our nation in the uniform of our country and in the uniforms of service, and to commit to renewing our efforts to understand each other better and forge ahead with the unity these times demand. 

 May you have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.