By Jim Barnes, Wellington Village Manager
A Time Of Gratitude
Thanksgiving is about gratitude, as well as appreciating and respecting the blessings of the past year. As we begin the holiday season, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to everyone in our community for their support, respect and understanding during the challenging times and good times alike. Your unwavering support, sacrifice and commitment have made our community stronger and demonstrated how resilient Wellington residents are in the face of adversity.
As our nation formed through revolution, the Continental Congress proclaimed a Day of Thanksgiving in 1777. In the middle of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln declared a national Thanksgiving Day to be celebrated on the final Thursday of November in 1863.
Despite the turbulent era, however, President Lincoln sought to unify the nation during the Civil War by reminding us of the blessings and privileges of our democracy. He issued Presidential Proclamation 106, which made Thanksgiving a formal, annual holiday. In the proclamation, Lincoln acknowledged the wounds left behind by war and appealed for the healing and restoration of the nation. Traditions varied in our country until late 1941, when President Franklin Roosevelt signed a bill fixing the day of recognition as the fourth Thursday in November, beginning in 1942.
This year, I hope we all do the same, as we come together with our loved ones to pause and give thanks for the grace and kindness in our lives. It’s the challenges, after all, that we face as a whole that make us even more grateful during times of joy and abundance.
Reasons To Be Thankful
To the backbone of our community — our first responders, village team members and the Wellington Village Council — thank you for going above and beyond to meet the needs of our community. Your prompt service, courage and sacrifice do not go unnoticed. Your passion for this village continues to make us the benchmark by which other communities are measured.
To our current and former armed forces service members and military families living in Wellington and the western communities, thank you for your service to defend our nation and freedom. Your presence makes our great hometown all that much better and reminds us how blessed we are in Wellington.
Support Our Local Businesses
Next, I am grateful for our local economy, which has been recognized countless times by numerous organizations, despite the challenges present elsewhere in the county and state. As a gentle reminder, I urge you all to please support our local businesses. We have some great local businesses, and equally impressive people running those businesses. When you buy locally, you help stimulate our local economy, create and sustain employment opportunities, and help foster a community that cares about and invests in itself — the definition of resiliency.
As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, let us remember the values and ideals that form the fabric of our great community, state and nation. Let us embrace our differences, celebrate our diverse heritage, and unite in gratitude for the gifts of freedom, family and faith.
This year, Wellington has much for which to be thankful. Our community is thriving, crime is low, property values are rising, tourism is strong, private investment is flourishing and we enjoy an outstanding quality of life. More than 400 years ago, the Pilgrims shared their first harvest with their Native American neighbors. Today, each of us has a responsibility to carry on this tradition of sharing by giving of ourselves to help those in need as we continue to work to build a vibrant, diverse, inclusive and sustainable Wellington.