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There is plenty of misfortune in the world. The Thanksgiving holiday, however, is a time to reflect upon the positives in our lives.

That is one reason Thanksgiving, for many, is the most hallowed holiday of the year. It focuses on the family and extends out to friends and the community.

Many in our area and across the nation have welcomed home sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, parents and other relatives to share a meal and time together. Some will be taking in friends whose family members may be far away for the day.

It can be a relatively stress-free time for people, unfettered by what many perceive as an obligation to search for and purchase gifts — unless, of course, you choose to brave the retail landscape tonight and tomorrow. Your call.

The simplicity of this particular holiday is refreshing.

That said, we should never forget the events that led to the first Thanksgiving, a true story with a moral that is just as valid today as it was nearly four centuries ago. That first celebration was a simple show of appreciation for fellow human beings despite their many differences.

For three days in 1621, Pilgrims and members of the Wampanoag tribe embarked on a community feast of goose, deer and other bounty harvested from their area. The length of the festivities would indicate camaraderie, and good times were as abundant as the food.

Two wildly different cultures forging a peaceful co-existence, cemented through a common meal. It is a heartwarming historical story — and lesson — that is uniquely American.

While enjoying time with family and friends today, think also of your larger community.

We can be thankful we live in a community where hundreds of volunteers and donors have made it possible, through free community meals, for everyone to have an opportunity to eat a Thanksgiving dinner and enjoy some fellowship.

We thoroughly believe this is a good place to live, to work and to raise families. We are grateful for that. And we are grateful for the people who continue to work to make it an even better place to live.

This year has been another one filled with political divisiveness and turmoil, especially at the national level. We hope you are willing and able to put that on the shelf for a day and enjoy those who surround you.

The most precious assets we have are family, friends and community. They are our strongest bonds.

Let us all remember that as we celebrate with them this Thanksgiving.

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