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'Time to Reflect on All We Have to Give Thanks For'

First Selectman Steve Vavrek shares a Thanksgiving message.

The following message is from First Selectman Steve Vavrek's email newsletter "News from the Town of Monroe", to join the mailing list, click here.

This week will start a season of family and the time to reflect on all we have to give thanks for. The smile of a child, the giving of your time for our community, returning daily to a warm home and a loving family.

I would like to offer this Thanksgiving Blessing from Walter Rauschenbusch.

We thank you for this earth, our home; for the wide sky and the blessed sun, for the ocean and streams, for the towering hills and the whispering wind, for the trees and green grass.

We thank you for our senses by which we hear the songs of birds, and see the splendor of fields of golden wheat, and taste autumn's fruit, rejoice in the feel of snow, and smell the breath of spring flowers.

Grant us a heart opened wide to all this beauty; and save us from being so blind that we pass unseeing when even the common thornbush is aflame with your glory.

For each new dawn is filled with infinite possibilities for new beginnings and new discoveries. Life is constantly changing and renewing itself. In this new day of new beginnings, all things are possible. We are restored and renewed in a joyous awakening to the wonder that our lives are and, yet, can be.

Civility, Storms and Common Sense

Two major storms, a Presidential Election and Veterans day came upon us over the last few weeks.

Hurricane Sandy then the following weeks Nor'easter were nasty storms that caused major devastation in our town and our region. They forced people out of their comfort zones, some people were very angry and many rumors spread. The election cycle did much of the same people forced out of their comfort zones, many rumors and negative ads made people very angry and it made people really rethink their comfort zones.

After the storms and the elections what happened? Power in our town and region was restored, the snow melted and we had one of the nicest Veteran's Day ceremonies, weather wise, we have had in recent memory.

It seems like both Civility and Common Sense had returned. Standing on the Stepney Green on a beautiful Sunday November 11 morning, meeting and listening to our veterans speak really made me think of what our veterans have done for us ... they gave us FREEDOM!

Some even gave the ultimate sacrifice for our rights as Americans. They fought in conditions far worse than any storms we could imagine.

They didn't fight as an Republican or a Democrat, they didn't fight as a liberal or conservative, they didn't fight as men or women and they rarely complained. They heard and saw hatred far worse than any news shows or political ads.

My Thanksgiving prayer for our world, our nation, our state, our Monroe is that we don't live as a Republican or Democrat, a liberal or conservative but we live to be civil to our neighbors and with common sense in both our speech and actions.

Life is too short ... enjoy it.

Steve Vavrek,

First Selectman

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