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11/24 Mi Town: Patty Taylor Dutcher

Before we celebrate our Thanksgiving holiday, I'd like to express my appreciation for those who won't be relaxing with family and friends on Thursday but will be working hard to make sure everything goes as well as possible for the rest of us.

As we drive over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house, our local, county and state police officers will be on the job to do what they can to make sure we arrive at our destinations safely.

Those men and women work 24 hours of every day to help keep our neighborhoods, communities, roads and highways safe and secure.

Did your family decide to give grandmother a much-needed day off and visit a favorite restaurant?

As you select from a bountiful Thanksgiving buffet or choose items from the menu, restaurant and hotel employees are working hard behind the scenes to make sure that turkey, dressing and all those beautiful pumpkin and apple pies are delicious and memorable. Be sure to let your servers and others know how much you appreciate their efforts as you enjoy the fruits of their labors.

Our hospitals and emergency care centers are fully staffed and ready to serve you, if they are needed. Nurses, doctors, medical teams, and operations and custodial employees are ready to tend to our needs. We hope we won't need their services, but they are definitely there to help if needed.

As we open the oven to check on the progress of Thanksgiving dinner and peek in the refrigerator to be sure the cranberry sauce is just right, let's take time to remember those hardworking folks from our power and light companies who make sure our homes are filled with light and warmth despite windstorms, rain and all the sneaky tricks that Mother Nature may have up her sleeve this wintry season.

What about the folks who make sure the water is pure and clean and always ready at the turn of the faucet? Their responsibilities continue no matter what the calendar or weather forecast may say, and we are truly grateful for all they do.

There's never a holiday at our fire departments, where dedicated firefighters and volunteers are always ready for any challenge. On a moment's notice, you'll receive the benefit of their exceptional medical or fire suppression skills as well as kind and compassionate understanding.

Just as we can count on morning sunrises and evening sunsets, we know there are people working hard to make sure Thanksgiving -- and every day of the year -- is good, safe and happy for everyone.

May you and your families enjoy a blessed and happy Thanksgiving.

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