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WHEREAS, on Thanksgiving Day, Americans give thanks for the availability of food and the many blessings and opportunities we receive; and
WHEREAS, in the Spring of 1610 in Jamestown, Virginia, after just 60 of 490 colonists survived the harsh winter and famine, English supply ships arrived with food, and a thanksgiving prayer service was held; and
WHEREAS, settlers arrived at Berkeley Plantation on the James River on December 4, 1619, and observed that day annually as a “day of thanksgiving”; and
WHEREAS, while reflecting on the hardships of our colonists, we also recognize and honor the Indian people who helped the colonists survive the harsh early days; and
WHEREAS, we join with family and friends to celebrate the gifts of freedom preserved by the courage and strength of our founding fathers; and
WHEREAS, on Thanksgiving Day, we are reminded of our responsibility to make sure that all Virginia families and individuals have adequate, healthy food and proper healthcare; and
WHEREAS, in the Commonwealth, we work with the food and agriculture sectors to provide children and their families greater access to affordable, healthy foods through farmers markets, local produce, and nutrition-assistance programs; and
WHEREAS, Thanksgiving continues to be one of America’s most cherished observances; and
WHEREAS, today and every day we are reminded of the many reasons to give thanks;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize November 22, 2018, as THANKSGIVING DAY 2018 in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.