Our View: A Thanksgiving list of blessings

Our View: A Thanksgiving list of blessings

(File photo)

The great Roman orator Cicero once said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” While it would be a stretch to call Cicero the father of America’s Thanksgiving, he would certainly approve of our yearly pause to give thanks for the bounty in our lives.

We at the Alexandria Times would like to share with our readers a few of the things for which we give thanks, starting with the large and moving to the little things. We would also love to hear from you on what additions you would make to our list.

We are thankful to live in a country where free speech is a cherished and protected right, and where newspapers like ours thrive as vehicles to help keep residents informed.

We are grateful for our country’s history as a “melting pot.” Immigrants and refugees from all around the world have voyaged to our shores and emerged as Americans. May we never forget that immigration and assimilation helped make us a better country.

We are thankful that America remains a land of economic opportunity, even as we acknowledge that those opportunities are not equally available for all members of our society.

We appreciate the brave members of our military who risk their lives on foreign soil to protect us from enemies, and the equally courageous public safety officers and firefighters who work to keep us safe at home.

We give thanks for our generous, philanthropic community. The best example of this generosity is the city’s annual Spring2ACTion day. This year, Alexandrians donated more than $1.2 million in one day to 129 different nonprofit organizations.

We are blessed by the commitment and activism of so many city residents. Their passion for Alexandria is demonstrated in many ways, from the fervor of debate over waterfront redevelopment in Old Town to the great street party that is Art on the Avenue in Del Ray.

We are grateful for the talented residents who were willing to put themselves forward as candidates for mayor and city council this year. The races were fascinating and unforgettable.

We give thanks for the hundreds of businesses — large and small — located in the Port City, as we say goodbye to local institutions Mancini’s and Bradlee Shoe Repair. We also encourage Alexandrians to think locally as they pursue their holiday shopping this year. Remember, you can find items in Landmark Mall, Foxchase, Alexandria Commons, Shirlington, Belle View and Bradlee shopping centers, and in the boutiques and shops of Arlandria, Del Ray and Old Town, just as easily as you can online and in big box stores. Think creatively and buy local.

Finally, here at the Times, we are thankful for the 2015 additions of Suzanne Brock to the paper’s ownership group, of longtime local residents Deb Riley and Jane Hughes to our sales team, and of top-notch reporter Chris Teale to our news staff.

And, as always, we are grateful to you, our readers and advertisers, who are our reason for being. Happy Thanksgiving.