Grateful for kindness of Maine people

6 years ago

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, bringing with it not only turkey and Maine blueberry pie, but also the opportunity to spend time with family and reflect upon the blessings we have each been given. After an eventful year, I have so much to be thankful for — so I’m warmed up and ready to share this gratitude at our Thanksgiving table, and here are a few things for which I am particularly thankful in 2018.

I am thankful for my wonderful wife, children, family and friends, who never cease to amaze me. I have a fairly busy life; with votes in Washington, meetings in Maine, flights back and forth nearly every week, my schedule can be hectic — and with the ever-looming possibility of some crisis that will keep me in Washington longer than anticipated, it’s often unpredictable. I couldn’t keep this schedule without the understanding of my loved ones — their patience allows me to continue this important work for Maine, and their kindness and warmth are the joys of my life.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to spend six more years in the Senate, pushing to address the challenges facing Maine people — because the work’s not yet done. We still have to make sure we can protect healthcare for people with pre-existing conditions and expand healthcare for those who can’t afford it; that we can address the opioid epidemic that is leaving communities across our state devastated; that we can live up to our duty to serve the veterans who sacrificed so much for us; and so much more.

I’m honored by the faith that Maine people have placed in me, and I don’t take their trust lightly — as long as I’m in the Senate, I’ll give my all to make sure Washington’s actions reflect Maine’s priorities.

Oh, and while I’m on the subject, I’m thankful the election is over. (And given the number of TV ads and yard signs I saw, I can’t imagine I’m the only one!) Elections are the cornerstone of our democracy, making sure that representatives are accountable to the people they seek to represent — but campaigns, especially in this age of politics, can be grueling, bitter, and defined by negativity. We chose a positive approach — in fact, we didn’t use a single negative ad. Instead of trying to tear down others to lift our campaign up, we focused on the challenges and opportunities that Maine people face every day because, at the end of the day, people aren’t looking for someone to blame for their problems — they want someone who will work to solve them. I’m proud to have run this type of race, and thankful that Maine voters embraced our approach.

Finally, I’m thankful for you, the people of Maine — not because of the trust you put in me, but because of what you do for each other every single day. I’ve often said that Maine is like a big small town (with very long streets) — that’s because at our heart, we’re one big community. As your governor, as your senator, and as your neighbor, I’ve always been struck by the kindness that Maine people show each other; in times of crisis, yes, but also in everyday life. There are so many examples: from the Homeless Veterans Stand Down at Togus, which for more than two decades has helped homeless veterans connect with resources to find long-term housing, to the volunteers at Leavitt’s Mill in Bar Mills who provide free healthcare services to Maine people with no insurance, to the good people at the Good Shepherd Food Bank in Auburn who make sure that community members in need have enough to eat.

These are just a couple of the fantastic examples of the Maine spirit I’ve witnessed in recent months, but there are so many more, large and small, that exemplify the kindness Maine people show to one another.

It’s not only a pleasure to serve you – it’s a pleasure to know you. Thank you for being the reason Maine is so special.