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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, on December 4, 1619, settlers led by Captain John Woodlief arrived at Berkeley Hundred and opened instructions from the Virginia Company’s investors that commanded the day of their arrival to be “yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God;” and
WHEREAS, while reflecting on this event and the hardships the colonists endured, it is of the utmost importance to recognize and honor the indigenous people who inhabited this land for thousands of years prior the settlers’ arrival and who provided essential aid to the colonists in order for them to survive the harsh early days; and
WHEREAS, the Native American community’s long and deeply-rooted legacy in both the United States and Virginia reminds us of proud and painful chapters of our history, and it is essential for residents to acknowledge all of Virginia’s history; and
WHEREAS, during this holiday, we are also reminded of our responsibility to make sure that all Virginia families and individuals have adequate and equitable access to nutritional food and proper healthcare; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth is committed to combatting intolerance and expanding opportunities to ensure that Virginia is welcoming for all Virginians, no matter who they are or where they live; and
WHEREAS, on Thanksgiving Day, the Commonwealth of Virginia acknowledges more than four centuries of sacrifice, perseverance, and fortitude by all Virginians and Americans;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize November 26, 2020, as THANKSGIVING DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.