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Wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving

November 22, 2010

I would like to take this opportunity to share in the observance of this Thanksgiving as a deeply meaningful and truly American holiday.

As local citizens, this is a time of sharing. We share our love of country, of our soldiers serving at home and abroad, of American history and tradition and with each other as millions of our fellow citizens take time out this Thursday to sit together, to eat together and to offer prayers of thanks together.

The image of the American family at Thanksgiving has changed a bit from the time Norman Rockwell painted his famous portrait of generations of a "typical" American family seated around a Thanksgiving table. But the spirit, character and generous, giving nature of what it is to be an American has not changed.

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In more diverse languages — with ethnic, cultural and religious nuances — we find ourselves a stronger, more enterprising, more tenaciously American America, still filled with hope and dreams and gratitude and humility in the knowledge that all of these benefits flow to us, not because our government grants them to us, but because a higher power invests them in us.

How lucky we are to live in a country founded on an idea, and the only one in the world which is bold enough and strong enough and inclusive enough to say, "Come, join us. Take part in this 234-year-old experiment in liberty."

I am an elected City Council member in the third-largest city in Los Angeles County. If I lived for the rest of my life in France I would never be considered French. I could spend the next decade in Germany or England or Spain, but I would never be considered a German, a Spaniard or a Brit.

But here in America, the only requirement is to be willing to legally become a part of our national fabric. And so it was that my family became Americans in the 1800s, just as many of you have your own family stories which that collectively fill the chapters of American Social History.

I encourage you to take a moment to reflect upon the many blessings which you have received as family, friends, neighbors and citizens, and especially the uniquely American gifts which we share across all religions, ethnicities and races on this uniquely American holiday.

I wish you the happiest of Thanksgiving Days, and may God share his blessing with you all.

John Drayman

Glendale

Editor's note: Drayman is a member of the Glendale City Council.

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