Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats released the following Thanksgiving holiday message:
Thanksgiving is always a time of reflection and togetherness. Whether we travel all the way across the state or just down the street to a family member’s house, tomorrow is a holiday where we pause to remember the brave spirit and countless sacrifices of the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock and endured the brutal New England conditions to create a land of freedom.
Our thanksgiving shouldn’t and doesn’t end there. There are many others who came before us that did their part to make America the greatest land on the face of the planet.
As we look back with gratefulness and focus on what makes Iowa such a wonderful place to live, it is important that we do something about the very real challenges so many of our fellow Iowans are facing this very minute.
While Thanksgiving is a time when most of us will gather for fellowship and delicious food in a warm, safe home, not everyone is so fortunate. I know from traveling our state that many people lack what we consider the basics of a holiday we’ve celebrated for so long that we might even take it a little for granted. It doesn’t have to be that way.
There’s still enough time today to help someone less fortunate than us. Contribute to your local food bank, pull together with your neighbors to help a struggling family or invite someone into your home to share the fruits of your own hard work. Doing so would honor the greatest tradition of the holiday – just as the Native Americans shared their bounty with the Pilgrims.
Remember our military personnel who are serving in faraway places to defend our country and protect our freedoms. I encourage you to take a moment to reach out to one of our servicemen or women through organizations such as Adopt-A-Soldier to let them know someone back home is thinking of them and appreciates their sacrifices. Or, give generously of your time, talent and energy in some other meaningful way.
I ask you to carry this true spirit of Thanksgiving forward through the holidays. Together, through the actions we take, we can make a real and lasting impact on the lives of others and change the course of our future.
I wish all Iowans a blessed, safe and Happy Thanksgiving.
Photo by Dave Davidson
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