Thanksgiving is our traditional American holiday, one that only seems to get more important given how easy it is to get caught up in the fast pace of our daily lives.

Technology, while a blessing in countless ways, makes it all too easy to stay connected to work or other distractions, and in some sense can blind us to what is really important: spending time with friends and family and giving back to the communities that made us the people we are today.

The idea that we can set aside a day to take stock of our lives and give thanks for the things we hold dear seems all the more important given the hardships we have faced over the last few years.

From a once-in-a-lifetime economic downturn, to dangerous storms, to unthinkable tragedy, we have faced challenges that no one would ever have asked for. Yet, in those darkest moments of need, I have been thankful for the tremendous grace and compassion we have shown to one another.

While I know that universal consensus is not possible, I believe that our ability to pull together and fight for common causes in the aftermath of the unthinkable is in some ways the true mark of the people of Connecticut. We have seen that kind of resolve throughout this slow but steady recovery, one that has led to the lowest unemployment rate in more than four years.

We’ve seen it in the faces of the thousands of parents who came to the state capitol and gave their voice to the effort to pass common sense gun violence prevention legislation.

We’ve seen it in the resiliency of our coastal towns and cities as they rebuild the lives they worked a lifetime, or in some cases generations, to create.

And we’ve seen it in the thousands of people who are taking it upon themselves to sign up for quality, affordable healthcare that is now available to them because of the Affordable Care Act. Not one of these endeavors is perfect.

There is much work left to be done. But what we have accomplished represents real progress, and I am thankful for the belief in this one indisputable truth — that we have the resolve to see all of our biggest challenges through to the end. We all want the same things.

We want to be able to earn a good living with good benefits so we can help to support the people we love. We want our kids to go to good schools and achieve their dreams.

We want to live in communities that are safe and take care of their own, so that no one — young or old — gets hurt or left behind.

And I am also thankful that we are working to accomplish each of these goals together.