Happy Thanksgiving, Virginia

It’s a wet, slightly chilly day in northern Virginia today.

(Got the day started right at the “Alexandria Turkey Trot,” a five-mile race through Del Ray.  Flat course with lots of spectators.  Felt good the whole way and finished in 37:29.  Said hello to Congressman Moran at the finish line.)

Let’s give thanks today! 

It’s has been a good year for the Petersen family.  Everyone is healthy.  My law practice is busy.  My little sister finally got married.  (smile)

For the Commonwealth, this has been a good year, not a great one.  After two years of recession, we are finally climbing out of the hole. 

Of course, the concept of “improvement” is relative.  A state unemployment rate of 7% is still too high.  And a state economy below pre-recession (2007) levels is still too low. 

But with a 3.4% projected economic growth rate in FY11, we are FINALLY in the positive numbers.  That means we can start to stabilize our state budget and look for areas to get back on task (e.g. improving our university funding which was decimated during the recession). 

More importantly, our democracy is still strong.  We live in a free country, where citizens have the right to worship, speak and assemble as they please.  Those freedoms are alive and well today.

Millions serve us to protect those freedoms.  Others work each day at businesses which create jobs and provide services.  Others give their time selflessly to care for the sick, the friendless and the needy in our society.  That human capital is the tensile strength of this nation. 

We are blessed, Virginia.  Give thanks.

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