Mayor Maxton’s Message
(From Column in Hill Country Weekly on November 18, 2021)
Time to be Thankful
Last week we celebrated Veterans Day, thanking all Veterans for their service and the sacrifices they made serving in the defense of our country. Fair Oaks Ranch has many Veterans living in our City. There are about 18 million Veterans in the United States, which is around 8% of the population. Texas is one of the states with a higher percentage of Veterans and I believe our City has a high percentage per population for the state. Bottomline, we have a significant number of residents who are Veterans and who have made sacrifices to serve our country.
There were two Veterans Day recognition ceremonies conducted in our City on Veterans Day. One was conducted in Vestal Park. This was a very heart-warming ceremony. All of the residents that attended were given the opportunity to come forward and talk about a Veteran that they knew. Many took this opportunity to speak about a special Veteran in their life, which many were recollections of a family member. It was great to hear the stories of so many that had served our country and the impact that they had made on others. Jim Manzo, who played at both ceremonies, played the hymns of all military services, and ended the ceremony by playing God Bless America. As I left the ceremony, I remember a feeling of true respect for those that had served our country.
The second ceremony was held in the country club parking lot, with a focus on lighting the Peace Tree. Lighting of the Peace Tree has a history in our City which dates back to 1990. The purpose was to unite our community and provide a reminder to residents as they drove by and saw the tree lit, that we had service members deployed into combat and away from home during the holiday season. This year the Peace Tree was lit on Veterans Day to honor those veterans in our community and around the world who provided selfless service in the defense of our Country. The Peace Tree will remain lit through the December holidays to remind ourselves that we still have U.S. service members deployed in harm’s way, who are away from their home and families during this holiday season.
As I look back on last week’s activities around Veterans Day and all the appreciation that was shown for those who served, it made me think about how much I have to be thankful for. I believe this time of year provides an opportunity for us all to really look at and value the positives in our lives.
As we have gone through Veterans Day, the Thanksgiving holiday is only two weeks away. The name itself of this holiday speaks to being thankful. There may be some debate related to the origin of the holiday, but the concept of Thanksgiving is relevant every year. This is a time to reflect on the past year and celebrate the positive occurrences and achievements. I believe this is a time to show gratitude and generosity for all that we have and to return kindness to others.
The December holidays will follow shortly after the Thanksgiving holiday. During this time, many of us demonstrate our thankfulness in religious beliefs and to family and friends that we have in our lives. As families come together and we bond with our close friend, we show appreciation to those that are close to us.
As Mayor of Fair Oaks Ranch, I realize that there is a lot to be thankful for. We live in a great City which is one of the safest cities in the state of Texas. Our City has so much to offer with it natural hill country look, our semi-rural atmosphere, great parks and trails, and the wildlife that we share the area with. All this makes Fair Oaks Ranch a unique and exceptional place to live. All of these attributes make our City great, but the one thing that makes our City special is the people. I believe overall, we have a personality in our City of being generous, kind and lending a helping hand to our neighbors. It doesn’t mean we always agree, but we do demonstrate respect and understanding in finding common ground to move forward. I am thankful to find a community like this for my family and myself to live in.
As we have just celebrated Veterans Day and are about 45 days away from starting a new year, I ask that you look at all in your life that you have to be thankful for during this period. Being thankful and showing gratitude will lead to a united community and together we can accomplish far more than we can as individuals.