Voices of gratitude on Thanksgiving Day amid the ongoing pandemic

Unlike last Thanksgiving, which fell in the depths of the pandemic, the creation of vaccines means many of us can gather more safely with our loved ones this holiday. We heard from people across the country about the ways they're celebrating this year and what they're most grateful for.

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  • William Brangham:

    Unlike last Thanksgiving, which came in the depths of the pandemic, the creation of vaccines means many of us can now gather safely with our loved ones this holiday.

    We heard from people across the country about the ways they're celebrating this year and what they're most grateful for.

  • Greg Tenor, Maryland:

    Hi, my name is Greg Tenor, and I live in Rockville, Maryland.

    I think, this year, given everything that's happened during the pandemic, we want to take even the smallest things that give us joy and really realize how important they are to us.

  • Michelle Delgado, Colorado:

    I'm Michelle Delgado. I'm from Aurora, Colorado.

    I'm grateful for the response from my family, how we have reached out to each other.

  • Jean Darnell, Texas:

    My name is Jean Darnell, and I'm a middle school librarian in Pflugerville, Texas.

    I'm thankful to have a job. Last Thanksgiving, I didn't. I was out with current COVID, quarantine and whatnot, and so I am eternally grateful to be here in a library again inspiring kids.

  • Kevin Reed, Washington:

    I'm Kevin Reed from Seattle, Washington.

    And I'm thankful for shelter, food. I live in Seattle, so we have a lot of homeless around, and you're reminded constantly how fortunate you are just to have a home and food.

  • Jessica Shapely, Texas:

    My name is Jessie (ph) Shapely. I'm 35. I live in Houston, Texas.

    This year, we're really looking forward to being together as a family, now that my 5-year-old are vaccinated and we're all vaccinated.

  • Silvia Garcia-Livelli, Maryland:

    My name is Silvia Garcia-Livelli. I live in Bethesda, Maryland.

    I think that we all have felt the stress of knowing how fragile life is and how important it is that we are not isolated entities. We are part of a group, that shared responsibility and shared support.

  • Michelle Delgado:

    My grandchildren have sent me artwork. My grandson, he and his mom traced his arms and his body on tissue paper and sent me a hug, which I still have hanging on my wall.

  • Kevin Reed:

    When I go out in the morning and I could see the stars and the planets and the moon and everything, I'm just aware of being — that we're on this ball of rock in space.

    And I'm just thankful for the life and everything that's on there and being a part of it and being on the cutting edge of billions of years of evolution. That's always kind of exciting.

  • Jean Darnell:

    My plans this Thanksgiving is to get in the kitchen with my sons. I'm going to teach them what goes into their favorite dishes, whether it's sweet potato pie or bacon mac and cheese, those "Mama, this is so good, how did you make?" recipe.

    I'm like, you're going to make it this Thanksgiving. I'm going to sit on a stool somewhere in the kitchen and supervise, delegate.

    (LAUGHTER)

  • Greg Tenor:

    I'm an only child, so it's going to be my mom, my dad and I spending Thanksgiving just at their home.

    I love to cook. I order out a lot, but there's nothing like a home-cooked meal.

  • Silvia Garcia-Livelli:

    I am going to just breathe, be present and be happy and just enjoy the warmth of their — that comes from interaction from family and friends.

  • Jessica Shapely:

    I know my daughter is really looking forward to hugging my mom. They haven't seen each other in person for a little over a year. And I know we're all really excited for that, just hugs, lots and lots of hugs again.

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