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County officials share their holiday wishes

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By Carol A. Clark

Senior Historian James W. Bakereeat Plimoth Plantation states that the reason there are so many myths associated with Thanksgiving is that it is an invented tradition.

The day doesn’t originate in any one event, Baker said. It is based on the New England puritan Thanksgiving, which is a religious Thanksgiving, and the traditional harvest celebrations of England and New England and maybe other ideas like commemorating the pilgrims.

In Los Alamos, one annual tradition is county and school officials express Thanksgiving wishes to the community.

“Thanksgiving is that time of year when we’re reminded to give thanks. Take the time to count how fortunate we are as a community and keep in your thoughts and heart those in need,” County Administrator Tony Mortillaro said. “Normally we celebrate Thanksgiving day at home with our children, however, this year since our oldest child who is in college won’t be able to join us, we thought we would go and spend Thanksgiving with him in Arizona. This might be an adventure since he doesn’t cook, so we will attempt to prepare a traditional Thanksgiving dinner in his apartment.”

Los Alamos County Council Chair Mike Wheeler also took time to thank county employees for all they do throughout the year.

“Los Alamos County has a lot to be thankful for this year. Because of the outstanding work of Los Alamos County employees we have made tremendous progress in delivering quality essential services to the community. We are

fortunate that our local economy continues strong,” Wheeler said. “Our infrastructure replacement and maintenance programs are well established and will ensure that Los Alamos remains sustainable. We have a bright future before us with enormous potential. These accomplishments have taken place over many years because of our dedicated employees. Thank you for all you do for our community and please join me in giving thanks on this national holiday. Enjoy this time with family and friends and stay safe.”

  Councilor Nona Bowman extended her wishes as well.

“I wish to send my wishes for a nice Thanksgiving to all of Los Alamos.  Let us all remember how fortunate we are to live in such a beautiful setting with high mountains, clear skies and beautiful sunsets and sunrises,” Bowman said. “And in such a wonderful country that allows me to attend the church I wish, give my opinion on local, state or national issues and not be afraid of being persecuted by civil authority. God bless you all.”

   Council Vice Chair Mike Wismer explained that the words of the first official Thanksgiving Proclamation hold true today.

“’It is therefore recommended… to set apart Thursday the 18th day of December next, for solemn thanksgiving and praise, that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor.’”  For me, that original intent means Thanksgiving is a time for reflection and gratitude for life’s little blessings like living in Los Alamos with good friends and neighbors,” Wismer said.

Councilor Sharon Stover described what the day means to her.

“Thanksgiving means family getting together to be thankful for their blessings throughout the year. Our kids, Quinn and Craig, have been home all week from college so we have had some time preparing for our feast,” Stover said. “My mom Barbara Stover will come over and spend the day with us. My mom brings her famous homemade rolls and red chili. We love all the side dishes, but are fans of red chili on mashed potatoes. Later in the day, we will connect with friends and go and see a movie. I wish a happy Thanksgiving for everyone. I hope that those who are suffering from illness or are in pain can find some comfort and that those who have recently lost a loved one will find some peace on Thanksgiving Day.

Councilor Vincent Chiravalle looked ahead in expressing his wishes.

“I am especially thankful that there haven’t been large job cuts at LANL this year. In the coming months the county must be extremely proactive, together with our regional partners, in advocating for the current science programs, workforce and mission of LANL,” Chiravalle said. “My wish for the future is that the county locate some of its staff in White Rock and invest in commercial properties there such as several empty buildings on Longview Drive. Council recently decided to invest in some rental properties in Los Alamos, to provide temporary housing for staff. There is much that the county can do to help in White Rock and we should not ignore the need any longer. Happy Thanksgiving to all.”