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Mayor's Office

 Taking a moment to reflect 

Posted On: 11/25/2009 

The holiday season kicks off this weekend as we pause to take a moment and reflect on the things for which we are grateful. It’s no different in the Sullivan household, where in between servings of turkey and pumpkin pie, we set up camp at the Sullivan Arena and enjoy the Great Alaska Shootout.

The Shootout is just one of the many reasons we have for being thankful that we live in a city as great as Anchorage. Our quality of life is evident in our unsurpassed natural setting, a stable economy that has mostly managed to stave off the recession’s effects, a diverse population that believes in active citizenship and advocates for those causes they believe in, and the list goes on. We as a community are definitely blessed to live here.

With that said, I’d like to take a moment and recognize those things about Anchorage for which I give thanks.

Our military is made up of the finest men and women anywhere. They sacrifice for our benefit, which often means putting themselves in harm’s way. Anchorage in particular is fortunate to be home to thousands of military personnel, many of whom choose to stay and live here once their tour is finished. Every time I see the jets practicing over Cook Inlet, I remember how blessed we are to call our servicemen and women neighbors.

Family and friends are the backbone of any community, and Anchorage is no different. We live in a city of more than 260,000 people, but it retains its small town feel. Rare is the occasion when you can go to the store, the coffee shop or gas station and not run into a familiar, friendly face. Robert Frost said “Good fences make good neighbors,” but he obviously did not live in Anchorage.

Our non-profit community is among the most generous in the country (in my humble opinion.) Without the good works of groups like Catholic Social Services, Lutheran Social Services, Salvation Army, United Way and innumerable others, this city would look a lot different, and not for the better. Because they work so hard for the less fortunate among us, I say “thank you” for all you do.

As a kid, I learned many life lessons in the Anchorage City Gym. I remain a firm believer in sports and recreation, and am grateful for the opportunities that exist in Anchorage for people to stay active, indoors and out. Whether it’s cross-country skiing on the coastal trail, or ice skating on Westchester Lagoon, or playing soccer at an indoor arena, we are fortunate to have a variety of ways to enjoy our surroundings.

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