Editorial for November 27
Perhaps the most tresured of all national holidays started in1863 by the signing of a proclamation from Abraham Lincoln as the Civil War was still dividing the nation. Americans although sperated in a way which may only be equaled by todays perilous policitical division still found a way to give thanks.
Millions of households around this great country will welcome Thanksgiving joyfully with the celebration which is essential to the American character. We still celebrate the blessings endowed upon us of fruitful fields, beautiful skies and wonderful mountaintops plus so much more. We’ll celebrate the freedoms other countries only dream of, the freedom of speach, to bare arms, to travel, the freedom of choice and the freedom of religion to name a few.
From the civil war to the end of each war since, we are honored to live in a nation where the rituals, the food and the spirit of the national holiday speak to the nation’s history as a land of newcomers who mostly came here in poverty and distress searching for total freedom.
The holiday had an important religious and spiritual component since the beginning, when many Americans came here fleeing religious persecution. They came looking to live in a state of thanksgiving, which meant using the creativity that the Creator gave them .
The Continental Congress proclaimed the first national Thanksgiving in 1777. However, the national proclamation custom fell out of use by 1815, but, by 1850 nearly every state and territory celebrated Thanksgiving.
Sarah Hale, editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book, petitioned 13 presidents beginning in 1827 to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. President Abraham Lincoln accepted her idea as a way to help unite the country during the Civil War. So it became official in 1863 and in 1941 Congress permanently set the fourth Thursday as the holiday.
There’s something wonderfully familiar about Thanksgiving, a shared cultural experience that seems increasingly rare in modern society.
Families gather from far and wide, we watch holiday parades and football games in the late autumn chill and enjoy dinners of turkey and stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, before kicking back with satisfaction over a quiet movie or a family game, or maybe a little of both.
We all have our own particular and sometimes peculiar traditions, but the rituals of Thanksgiving seem bigger than us, somehow an American rite of passage that connects all of us every year.
Most important is to remember what the holiday is truly all about, to appreciate the blessings in our lives.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt called on Americans to give humble thanks for the blessings bestowed upon us.”May we recall the courage of those who settled a wilderness,” Roosevelt said in his Thanksgiving Day proclamation. “The vision of those who founded the nation, the steadfastness of those who in every succeeding generation have fought to keep pure the ideal of equality of opportunity and hold clear the goal of mutual help in time of prosperity as in time of adversity.”And so we did and continue to do so.
We readily admit no family is perfect, but like the dinner itself, there is usually something on the table that one can enjoy. So, relax enjoy your day and give thanks to the Creator, he made it all