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As we pause to give thanks this year, a once-in-a-century pandemic weighs heavily on each of us. It has added stress to our lives and strained our patience. But from the very beginning, Vermonters have stepped up to face this battle with service and sacrifice, digging deep to maintain discipline as the crisis grinds on. Make no mistake: Your willingness to meet this challenge head on has helped make our response the best in the nation. You are why we are positioned to emerge faster, stronger and with fewer lives lost than any other state.

I know it has not been easy, it’s uncomfortable and inconvenient, and it feels unfair — none of us want to be in this position. That’s why we need to rely on each other to get through it. Each act of kindness; each expression of goodwill; each time we lead by example, we’re making it a little easier, bringing more people to the cause, and helping ensure the mission is more successful.

While this year’s Thanksgiving will be different and difficult, there is, in fact, light at the end of the tunnel. As safe and effective vaccines become available, things will return to normal. We will be able to gather together again soon.

But for the next several months, we must continue to meet this challenge with the same determination and grit we have since March. If we do, future generations will recall your courage, resilience and commitment to community as a powerful reminder that there is no challenge the people of Vermont cannot meet when united in common cause.

Through all the adversity, it is my hope that this will be the lesson we will leave our children, and our children’s children. That would be something to be thankful for, indeed.


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