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Happy Thanksgiving, Hopewell Borough! 

As we enter the holiday season with Thanksgiving Day upon us, there may be no better time to reflect on the challenges we’ve faced as a community this year, and to be reminded of all the reasons we have to be thankful.

COVID-19 has disrupted our daily lives in so many ways. It has asked us to sacrifice precious time with family and friends in the name of public health and it has asked us to find creative ways to enjoy our days and it has mandated that many old traditions be set aside for now, or that new ones be imagined as we battle the pandemic together.  We’ve found some silver linings, to be sure, but we’ve also been tested in ways that we previously thought were unimaginable.  Through it all, we have remained one community – and in so doing have strengthened our resolve in each other.

We have stayed at home when it was unsafe to go out, we’ve ordered take-out from our amazing restaurants when their doors were closed to patrons and we’ve tried to support our business community when they’ve needed us the most.  We’ve built and stocked food pantries to help those in need.  We’ve donated to familiar and brand-new charities.  We’ve shopped for each other, checked in on neighbors with our face masks on and while standing socially distant.  We’ve found out that we really can conduct most business online or by phone and that we can zoom for fun and for business reasons too.  We aren’t done and we’re not out of the woods but we’ve shown what we are made of and that we really can weather this storm together.

Nothing replaces the traditions of gathering with family and friends for the holidays and we are all struggling and saddened that we are asked this year to modify our plans to slow the spread of the virus as it rages out of control across the country.  Some of our family members are far too vulnerable to be placed at additional risk and no one wants to be the cause of anyone getting sick for one day of normalcy.  So, instead of focusing on what we can’t have, maybe we can use those new-found talents on Zoom or the phone to share stories or recipes and messages of love and gratitude to those we are most grateful for.  And next year, with the pandemic under control and vaccines available, we can gather around and talk about the challenges of 2020 and be reminded then how resilient we really were, and are.

We’ve grown tired of the sacrifices and we’re tired of the orders but a new day is coming and better days are ahead so we must resist the urge to relax too soon.  The stakes are too high and we must remain vigilant.  In the meantime, my family and I will stay focused on all that we have to be grateful for, just as you and your families undoubtedly will too.  We’ve done a great job here in Hopewell adhering to the guidelines and as your mayor, I could not be more proud.

Happy Thanksgiving, one and all.

Mayor Paul Anzano

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