On the beginning of the longstanding tradition of celebrating the US Thanksgiving holiday, I'm sharing below a special message from US Ambassador, Mark Brezinski, our partner in the cherished connection between the embassy and the school that is at the centre of the school's founding since 1953. Please enjoy!
The holiday season is upon us, and with it, we are reminded of the true meaning of this time of year: gratitude. This is the time we endeavor to feel appreciation for life’s journey, from the moments that give us joy to the hard times that teach us valuable lessons. There have been a lot of these lessons over the last few years; we have witnessed or gone through so much adversity. This season is our opportunity to reflect on the positive. We have much to be thankful for, starting with sharing the amazing community that is ASW.
We are in a position to help our neighbors in need because Poland is safe and has the full support of the United States, and our allies. This remains true despite the recent tragic missile explosion in Przewodów. We have full confidence in the Polish government’s investigation of the incident and are supporting it as requested. Our condolences and sympathy go to the families of the two Poles who died, as they do to the millions of Ukrainians suffering from Russia’s aggression.
Our safety here has allowed ASW to live the “giving” part of Thanksgiving throughout the year. You have provided a home away from home for over 80 students from Pechersk School International (PSI) and their teachers. You have helped Ukraine from day one through the largest Service-Learning Project to date, #ASWforUkraine. Many of you have even taken Ukrainians displaced by the war into your own homes. This kindness and generosity have inspired the next generation to step up and do the right thing in the future. Young people have been empowered to make the world a better place. ASW, I’m thankful for your efforts. As an ASW parent, I am proud of what our community and our children have accomplished.
I know that ASW is hosting Friendsgiving, a beautiful and meaningful custom of giving thanks and sharing food with treasured friends who have become like family. You will put the Warrior stamp on this special day that is becoming more and more popular in the United States, where the great distances that keep some families apart on Thanksgiving Day gave rise to this new tradition. As you share a special treat together and write what you are thankful for on a Friendsgiving tree leaf, I know that some of you, like me, may be missing the loved ones and familiar foods that may typically be around your table. But I also know how special it is to be a part of this community, and how fortunate we all are to celebrate the day in appreciation and gratitude, with a side of making new memories with treasured friends, new and old.
These are moments that you can reflect on years later. My most cherished childhood memory was when my mother elicited hours of laughter from my brother, sister, and me by bringing our horse, Strawberry, into the house every Thanksgiving. While a horse won’t likely be on your guest list for the holidays, I hope that this year you’ll create memories to cherish for a lifetime with your family, friends, and colleagues at ASW.