Governor's Thanksgiving Message

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[New York News: Commentary]


This is the time of year when we usually look back and reflect on the year that was, and give thanks for the blessings that we have received.

I realize that for many New Yorkers that may seem to be a more difficult prospect this year, due to the challenges that our state is facing and, more importantly, the difficulties that I know families across the state are experiencing. While these challenges are great, I am confident that we will overcome them.

As New Yorkers, our collective identity has been forged by the way we have responded to the tough challenges throughout our history. The story of New York is that of many diverse communities and individuals tackling problems head-on while maintaining a commitment to building a more secure and prosperous future. In the toughest of times, New Yorkers always come together, do what is right, and work our way back.

And so we will again. So while Thanksgiving is often a chance to look back, I suggest to you that instead this year we, as a state, look forward. Next week, I will sit down with President-Elect Obama to discuss how his administration can help support what we in New York are doing to get back on the right track. Next month, I will deliver my budget to the Legislature, a month early, laying our clear priorities to guide us as we put New York's house in order. And early next year, I will deliver my first State of the State address, setting a bold new course forward for New York.

Yesterday, Michelle and I visited with volunteers working in the Empire Concourse here in Albany as part of the 39th annual Equinox Community Dinner. As I walked from station to station through the kitchens, I talked with the volunteers who were there spending part of the holiday ensuring that the neediest members of our community had a chance to celebrate Thanksgiving with a good meal and with good company. I witnessed each person, giving their precious time and energy, contributing to an effort larger than themselves, for someone other than themselves.

Moving New York forward will require that all of us embrace this unwavering commitment to building a brighter future and a willingness to help those members of our state who are in great need. It's what New Yorkers have always done, and it is that spirit that is going to see us through to a brighter tomorrow.

Today, I am thankful for many things, but I am especially thankful to be your Governor, because though the challenges we face may be great, we face them together as one New York.

Have a happy Thanksgiving.

Paterson is governor of New York State.

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