From the Desk of Ed Ra: Even during unprecedented times, there’s so much to be thankful for

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This has been an exceptionally difficult year. Our region was the epicenter of a global pandemic. This spring, we experienced real suffering and heartbreak on a scale that’s still difficult to process.

We’re still dealing with the lingering public health threat, and we’re only beginning to combat the economic devastation. On top of it all, the American people just endured one of the most bitterly contested election cycles in modern memory.

If your first impulse is that there’s not a lot to be thankful for right now, I can understand where you’re coming from.

If that’s how you feel, though, I think you should reconsider.

We owe an immeasurable debt of gratitude to the frontline and essential workers who saved countless lives and risked everything to meet the needs of their neighbors during the worst of the crisis.

Doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers put everything on the line to provide critically important care around the clock.

The quick, decisive actions of first responders in many cases were the difference between life and death. And the law enforcement officials, transportation workers, pharmacists, grocers, food service workers, counselors, educators and so many others who adapted on the fly to keep us safe, keep us moving and keep us healthy deserve our unyielding appreciation.

We should also be thankful for the amazing doctors, scientists and researchers who are finalizing COVID-19 vaccines. These breakthroughs represent hope and a return to normalcy.

They’re a reminder of our boundless potential and our ability to respond to adversity. They are a testament to cooperation, innovation and hard work. I’m thankful to live in a society where those values are foundational.

Most of all, we’re thankful for each other. We’re thankful for the friends and neighbors we trust. We’re thankful for the family members we love more than anything. And we’re thankful for the opportunity to revitalize our state and move forward together.

May God bless you and your family during this holiday season!

State Assemblyman Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square)

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