As the holiday season begins, the festive rituals of gatherings and gift-giving are tempered by the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and the recent, tragic school shooting in Connecticut.
While we give thanks for our blessings, our homes, our lives and our families, our hearts go out to those who are suffering during this time, including parents who have lost innocent children to violence and individuals and members of our Judiciary family who are struggling to rebuild after the recent devastating storm.
The Judiciary, as part of the larger community, has been impacted by these events, and we are acutely aware of the difficulties facing the people involved.
The events of the last few months have affected us both personally and organizationally, causing us to deviate from our normal life patterns. For many, Hurricane Sandy caused a loss of power and disruption in our routines. For others, homes, business and vehicles were destroyed and neighborhoods severely damaged.
Personally, many in our Judiciary family are struggling to return to normalcy in light of these challenges. Organizationally, we are adjusting to the destruction of our probation building in Bergen County and the loss of several municipal courts in the counties hardest hit by the storm.
The events of this past weekend in Connecticut remind us how violence can devastate lives and communities. The deaths of innocent children by violence make us ponder the fragility of life and share in the pain of the survivors.
These difficulties challenge us to maintain our equilibrium and our ability to function normally. In such times of struggle, we must rely on our family, friends and colleagues to help us recover and remain optimistic about the future.
These connections help us recognize that, however difficult the times may be, we will regain our footing and move ahead. We will persevere through the pain and collectively seek to make the future better.
We are able to do this because of the strength of all of those within the Judiciary.
Judiciary employees working together, continually strive to ensure justice for the people who rely on our court system, even in the face of crisis. This strength will continue to see us through.
This holiday season offers an opportunity for us to reclaim our normal perspective. This time of a year is a chance to give thanks and to remember the extraordinary resiliency of the human spirit.
I am truly proud of the strength and professionalism of our Judiciary employees during these difficult times. We continue to provide services to the public and maintain an effective system of justice for all. This is what will sustain us as we move ahead into the new year.
I wish you all the best during this holiday season.