LITTLE ROCK – From the first Thanksgiving with the pilgrim settlers to the modern tradition of football and turkey, it is important for us as a state and nation to pause from the hustle of life and simply give thanks.
For me, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of Arkansas for another four years.
I am thankful for family, health, and that Arkansas is truly blessed as the Natural State with extraordinary beauty and wildlife.
I am particularly thankful to serve a state whose citizens are so quick to lend a hand, as I have seen over and over as neighbors show up with chainsaws, meals, and money after a tornado has knocked down houses and businesses, or when unrelenting rains have destroyed thousands of acres of crops.
I am grateful for teachers who love teaching and are dedicated to molding young minds into future leaders.
I treasure the encounters that remind me of the importance of dreams, such as the evening when I was to deliver the commencement speech at Ozarka College. Barbara Wilson told me that her granddaughter, Lexxy Scott, was the only woman graduating from the school’s aviation program that evening.
I asked, “What is she going to do now?”
Mrs. Wilson replied, “Anything she wants.”
I am grateful to serve a state where the residents have dreams and believe they can come true.
I relish the humbling moments, such as the time at the Hogskin Days Parade in Hampton when a woman waited her turn to meet me and insisted that I needed a hug. Then she stepped back and asked, “Now just who are you?” I realized she was a friend to many, and the hug was for everyone.
As I recall the many Thanksgiving feasts I’ve shared over the years, I’m proud to note that the farmers of Arkansas can produce everything we need for our tables and enough as well to export around the world.
Arkansas is great place to live, and together, we are making it better. I am grateful for the chance to participate in this great adventure.