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COLUMN — Thanks to those on the front lines of COVID-19

I hope you had a safe, happy and healthy Thanksgiving celebration with your loved ones last week.

Although this holiday season looks different for many American families, it is important for us to come together, give thanks and reflect on the blessings we share. This year, as always, I am thankful for all of my family and friends, including my wife, Christine, my daughters, Abby, Lauren and Lilly, and my two granddaughters, Boston and Isla.

While it is necessary to recognize the heavy obstacles that we have faced this year, I am reassured, comforted and inspired by those that have stepped forward in the spirit of service to serve on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

First responders and health care providers have committed themselves to long hours away from their families to put the needs of our communities first. I’m sure I can speak for everyone in the 5th District when I say thank you again for your continued hard work.

Businesses have developed meaningful ways to aid their communities, including adapting operations to produce masks and hand sanitizer. I am thankful to everyone that has worked to provide exceptional support for those in need. I am also thankful to the farmers, producers, truck drivers and manufacturers of the nation that have ensured that our supply chains carry on without interruption. 

I am thankful for our teachers and parents who have gone above and beyond to make sure that our children are thoroughly prepared for both virtual and in-person learning. When challenged, the people of the 5th District have shown remarkable care for one another. 

Lastly, I am eternally grateful for our brave military personnel who are away from their families this holiday season. As an Air Force veteran myself, I know the sacrifices that our military communities make to protect this nation. Let us keep our military families in our hearts as they continue to put country before self in service to this great nation. 

I am confident that despite the tremendous obstacles that we have faced this year, our country will take the lessons of 2020 and move forward with the same American spirit that has led us through so many challenges in our history. I am thankful to be an American, today and always. 

Let us be an example by continuing to follow social distancing guidelines, washing hands and wearing masks. It remains an honor to represent the 5th District in Congress, and I wish you and your family all the best this holiday season. 

Denver Riggleman represents Charlotte in the U.S. House of Representatives. He can be reached by visiting https://riggleman.house.gov/ or by phone at (434) 973-9631.