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EDITORIAL:Giving thanks

This week marks Thanksgiving so we'd like to take a moment to consider the things that we're thankful for.

Aside from the obvious -- our friends, families, freedom, prosperity and pumpkin pie, we're thankful for the quality of life that we find in Prince William.

Like everyone else, we like to complain about Northern Virginia traffic, but we're thankful for the improvements we've seen in recent years.

We're especially thankful that the I-95 Express Lanes are opening ahead of schedule. We're thankful for the Gainesville interchange renovation, thankful for the Route 1 Corridor upgrades, and thankful for the Haymarket diamond plans that will help our daily traffic headaches each morning.

We're thankful for some of the best schools in the commonwealth and, as journalists, we're especially thankful for the school system's administrative and staffers, who are open and helpful with information and are always quick to provide updates via email and Facebook.

We're likewise thankful for the Prince William Police Department. Not only do they do a great job of handling crime, they're especially professional and transparent in their dealings with the community and media.

We're thankful for the Prince William government staff. Behind every successful politician is an army of administrators crunching numbers and keeping the trains running on time. In Prince William, that's County Executive Melissa Peacor, Board Clerk Phil Campbell, Budget Director Michelle Casciato, Communications Director Jason Grant and the assistants to the supervisors. We're thankful for them and their staffers.

We're thankful for the town councils of Quantico, Dumfries, Occoquan and Haymarket, if for no other reason than that they keep our jobs interesting.

We're thankful for our readers, our advertisers, and all of our supporters who help to keep community newspapers alive and well in the digital age.

Most of all, we're thankful for the county's diversity and pluralism. An estimated 23 percent of the county's 424,000 residents were born in a foreign country and we love it. Prince William's pockets of international flavor give us a little of the big-city melting pot feeling without all of the big-city noise and traffic.

We're reminded at Thanksgiving especially that despite our cultural or political differences, we are one nation, one state, one region, one county. We are thankful for every individual and every group that is a part of it.

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