Dear Sisters, Brothers, Community Partners and Dear Friends,
So, here we are: Thanksgiving 2020. What a year it has been. And it may seem a little stretched to wax on about being thankful in a year marked by incidents ranging from a deadly pandemic to a global movement for racial justice. The year 2020 has experienced more than its unfair share of globally transformative events -- Admittedly, it’s a lot to take in…
And now, for most of us, we’re looking at a vastly different Thanksgiving from any we’ve seen in our lives. With COVID 19 raging across the country like a wildfire, many of us will be sitting down with far fewer folk for our Thanksgiving meal, staying purposefully apart from those whom we love and care dearly about. Again…it’s a lot to take in.
As working families, we understand that life definitely throws curve balls. You might even say that 2020 has been a real knuckle baller of a year. But the fundamentals are still strong, and our strength of will and integrity remains through it all. We are still very much the people of immigrant stock, strong principled, who crossed vast oceans, suffered great hardship and loss, through many difficult days and great challenges. And yet we remember to celebrate – to celebrate our collective differences as strengths and individual liberties as rights – A people who celebrate our differences while standing in solidarity, giving thanks for all of it.
Thanksgiving is a holiday where we celebrate the things that unite us. And while we are not out of the woods yet, the reclamation of our democracy from the bigotry, fear, divisiveness, and falsehoods that marked the long nightmare of these past four years and the hopeful outlook of not one, but several promising vaccines to finally overcome the pandemic of 2020 must give us pause, and we must take the time to give thanks and be thankful.
So, as we take a day to celebrate our heritage and our history, may we live up to promise of our ideals and learn from the lessons of all we’ve just come through. We have many victories for which we can be truly thankful, but we must not lose site of the stubborn challenges that remain. The challenges of racism, sexism, poverty, access to affordable education, criminal justice reform, and so many things we have yet to address on our never-ending journey towards that “more perfect union.”
And whether or not we overcome these challenges lies squarely in our hands – the hands of working people. The people who are born, grow up, live, work, play, and die all for the love of our families, our friends, our communities, and this great nation. A people who in return for all we do expect no more than that those entrusted with leading us are worthy of this inheritance – an inheritance for which so many have shed their sweat and their blood – a great experiment and investment for which we are all truly thankful.
May The Devine continue to bless America…and may we deserve that grace through our steadfast unity and solidarity -- forever. Stay strong, remain well, be safe… and Happy Thanksgiving!
Your Sisters, Brothers and Friends at the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council