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Giving thanks for family, friends and freedom
Dear Friends,

Centuries ago, strengthened by faith and bound by a common desire for liberty, a small band of pilgrims sought a place in the New World where they could worship according to their beliefs. These brave men and women risked their lives to seek the freedoms that we all enjoy today.

After their first harvest in 1621, a celebration was held out of gratefulness for a plentiful harvest. This celebration was the first Thanksgiving, a three-day long celebration that included singing, dancing and feasting.

While much has changed during the centuries since the first Thanksgiving, the holiday is still rooted in the same foundations: family and friends.

While most of us now get our food from the grocery store, and traditions such as parades, football games and "Black Friday" have become as much a part of Thanksgiving as pumpkin pie, at its core it is still a time to celebrate the many blessings that have been bestowed on us.

In a world where we are constantly connected and seemingly always busy, Thanksgiving is a rare moment to cast the worries of our everyday life aside and relax with our loved ones.

As Michigan families gather to enjoy turkey and honor other family traditions, I encourage everyone to recognize the true spirit of Thanksgiving.

More than 150 years after the first feast, President Washington proclaimed Thanksgiving Day as a time to celebrate a young nation's freedom and liberty. After falling out of favor, the holiday was reborn by President Lincoln in 1863 to reunite a country torn apart by civil war. In his Proclamation on Thanksgiving, Lincoln wrote, "The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come..."

This year, I hope everyone will have the opportunity to gather with family and friends, enjoy the Thanksgiving fare and celebrate the most cherished thing we have: one another.

Most importantly, I encourage you all to take the time to reflect upon our gratitude to all, not just those at your Thanksgiving table. Remember to give thanks for the blessing of living in the land of the free and express gratefulness for the brave men and women who keep us free.

May God bless you and fill your hearts and homes with love this Thanksgiving.


Mike Green
State Senator
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