Today I am particularly thankful for people of good will who are willing to gather together – to gather together here at St. Paul’s to give thanks together; for people who are gathering together all over our city to serve meals to our less fortunate at the Salvation Army; for leaders in Washington and Tupelo who are gathering together to find common ground; for teachers and students and parents and community volunteers who are gathering together to make Tupelo’s public school system the most successful one in America; to people of different faiths or even of no particular faith who are gathering together with us and other Americans all over the country to count the many, many blessings we all have been blessed to receive.
There is a favorite country song of mine that has lyrics that go:
“I’ll start walking your way.
You start walking mine;
We meet in the middle, ’neath that old Georgia pine,
We gain a lot of ground, cuz we both give a little,
Ain’t no road too long,
When we meet in the middle.”
I’m thankful for people who are willing to move toward each other not away from each other. I am thankful for people who believe that tolerance is a virtue, not a weakness; for people who are willing to listen and think; I am thankful for people who understand that in diversity there is strength.
Thank you for sharing this hour with your fellow citizens. Thank you for gathering together. At its best, Tupelo is a great community. This service is a terrific example of Tupelo at its best.
Thank you! Happy Thanksgiving to each of you and to all 37,000 of Tupelo’s citizens.
Mayor Jack Reed Jr. delivered the welcome at the 2012 Community Thanksgiving AService on Monday at St. Paul United Methopdist Church. Contact him at email@example.com.