We wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

We are very thankful to be able to serve as your community newspaper.

More than turkey and dressing, green beans and cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and an afternoon of football, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks.

Each family has its own Thanksgiving traditions.

This truly American holiday celebrates the very best of what it means to be a citizen of the United States.

In the midst of our busy lives, hopefully we can all pause, reflect and be thankful.

When we offer thanks we do not do so with the thought that life is without challenges and disappointment, whether we choose to focus on myriad blessings.

When colonists gathered long before the birth of the nation with their native neighbors, they did so after many of their friends and family members had lost their lives because of the harsh winter and difficult living conditions. The battles they fought were not over politics but rather over sickness and starvation. Nevertheless, they were thankful.

It was in the fall of 1621 the pilgrims celebrated the harvest with Chief Massaoit and a delegation of the native Wampanoags who had befriended the English colonists and taught them the farming and survival techniques needed to sustain them in this new land.

There most likely was no turkey, pumpkin pie or cranberry sauce, but there was a lot of thanksgiving.

According to tradition, colonial Gov. William Bradford organized the harvest feast and invited Massasoit and the Wampanoag for the three-day festival that most likely included venison and corn along with other vegetables.

The natives had shown the settlers how to grow corn and use fish as fertilizer, helping them to survive in the new land. For their new friends, they were most thankful.

Research shows that in 1789 George Washington issued the first federal Thanksgiving proclamation. In 1817, New York became the first state to have an official Thanksgiving holiday. However it was not until 1863, during the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln set the last Thursday in November as the Thanksgiving holiday. Then, in 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt changed the date, but in 1941 a bill was signed into law making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.

As we pause with the community and the nation this week to spend a day with our families, enjoy our traditions and bow our heads in gratitude, we want to express our thanks for the community.

Thank you for bringing us into your homes.

Thank you for picking up the newspaper at the store, or subscribing or viewing the news online.

Thank you for sharing your news tips, your suggestions, your agreements and disagreements. Thank your for sending us photographs to publish or letters to the editor.

Thank you for reading the paper.

We want to also thank our advertising partners for allowing us to be a small part of their businesses, helping to market goods and services to the community.

As a community, we face many challenges.

As a newspaper we unfortunately must publish many of the challenges that we face in our community, but hopefully by doing so, we make this place we call home an even better place.

We are thankful to also be able to report all of the positive, vibrant and exciting things that happen in our communities each day.

This a great place to live and work.

We are thankful.