As I stand here and look out at all of you, children K4 through grade 12, teachers, parents, friends, it takes my breath away. It is the first time this year all of us have been together.
We in this room are so wealthy. We are all very rich.
It doesn’t matter whether we are millionaires or whether we don’t have two nickels to rub together.
We are rich because we live in America.
We are rich because we have wonderful families and friends who care about us. We all have a treasure chest of possibility in our lives.
Our pantries are full of the most delectable offerings.
And being part of Staten Island Academy, which we all know is a beacon of excellence, is like winning the lottery.
We are wealthy indeed.
Because of our wealth, I believe that we have the responsibility to share with others, and I believe that sharing is the heart of Thanksgiving. I am proud that I see evidence of sharing every day on our campus. In our program today, for example, there is much evidence of sharing. Our older students help our younger students.
Teachers share their knowledge and love with children.
Students share their voices and their talents.
And, students, faculty, and parents share their resources by raising money for worthy causes.
Our community shares its wealth in many ways.
Since I started to think about what I would say to you this afternoon, I have been thinking about the first Thanksgiving that was held in 1621. As you know, the Pilgrims and the Native American Indians had a feast to celebrate the wealth of their harvest. The pilgrims and the Native Americans shared much that first Thanksgiving Day, including food, laughter, friendship, and pride. I think that it is very interesting to note that only 40 years after the first Thanksgiving in Plimouth, Massachusetts, the first permanent settlement of Europeans on Staten Island began. The year was 1661, and I think these settlers probably celebrated a Thanksgiving,...
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