During the holiday season, Rockland County residents gather together in joy and celebration with family and friends. This is also a time when we give special thanks for those who are dear to us, for our faith, and for the many blessings in our lives.
At the holiday dinner table in many Rockland homes, there will be an empty seat because a son or a daughter, or a mother or a father, is serving in our nation’s armed forces. They are thousands of miles away from New York and their families this Christmas, protecting our nation and protecting us. I ask that in your thoughts and prayers this Christmas, you remember those serving in the military.
I also ask that you remember our first responders this Christmas. The senseless killings of NYPD Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos last weekend underscore the dangers faced by law enforcement in uncertain times. Our police officers, firefighters and EMT’s answer the call to service each and every day. These brave men and women are devoted to the protection of our communities and the safety of our residents.
Our prayer is that our brave men and women in uniform are kept safe, even as they put themselves in harm’s way on our behalf, and that they return home safely. Please remember the families of those who are serving as well, as they especially miss their loved ones at this time of year, whether working at home or defending us in distant lands.
It’s my sincere hope that you find time this month to spend with loved ones, reflect on our many blessings, and to give of ourselves by sharing what we can – whether food, money, or time – with those who are less fortunate.
The message of Christmas is one of joy, love and peace, and it has endured for more than two thousand years. From my family to yours, I wish all Rockland County residents a safe, happy and healthy holiday season and a new year filled with laughter and goodwill.