“We are coming to the end of quite an eventful year, and before we head into what no doubt will be another one, it might be nice if we all took a moment to reflect just a bit. We live in unusual times. The modern information age makes it all but impossible for any of us to disconnect, but maybe over the Thanksgiving holiday we will be able to do that, if even just for a short period of time.
“In this past year, our nation ended one war and began to wind down another. Unfortunately, the recent, tragically familiar escalation of violence in the Middle East over the past few weeks reminds us that peace is all too often an elusive concept. No doubt, the world would be a better, safer, and gentler place if everyone spent more time focused on what binds us together as human beings, as opposed to what separates us as people.
“Here in Connecticut, we have come through yet another storm of historic dimensions. This one, tragically, claimed the lives of six Connecticut residents. It visited pain and suffering on countless others. Those who were only mildly inconvenienced probably, when witnessing the devastation on our own shoreline and in New York and New Jersey, consider themselves to be lucky.
“But, as has been the case in the better parts of the history of our great state and nation, times of great challenges beget enormous opportunities. Perhaps the wars we’ve ended will make us less likely to enter new ones. Perhaps the carelessness, and worse, that led to the Great Recession will refocus our priorities. Perhaps, having experienced Mother Nature’s wrath three times in 15 months, we can have a more honest conversation about the future of our planet.
“One thing history has taught us: we will surely continue to be confronted by enormous challenges. The question isn’t if, it’s when, and how. In the end, what will matter most is how we respond.
“During the past year, the people of Connecticut have responded, as they often have, with a determination that would make our forefathers proud. Let us take time in the coming weeks to reflect, regroup, and commit to redouble our efforts going forward. While we have traveled a great distance, we have far to go.
“Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving.”