I must acknowledge that my thanks is to God for the greater things that prevail over what ever we define as success.
In these troubled times, we again will look to the basic tenants of our founding that underscore the notion of family, self-reliance, integrity, and commitment to principle. Most certainly there are those that belittle such notions or are incapable of understanding them for a number of reasons. But on this day, I think of thanks, not of a duty to try and change others to my beliefs.
Our bounties, while reduced perhaps in terms of expectations, are so broad and grand compared to so many outside our borders that this day is as much a humbling revelation as it is a joyful expression. Not however to be mistaken for guilt feelings or shame of what success that has been achieved, the Thanksgiving is for the foundations, the basic values, and the opportunity to make the best of what we can be for ourselves and those we love.
The challenges ahead may be monumental and I wonder at times what Thanksgiving Day was like in 1941. Like all holidays, we are drawn to memories, our own, and those passed down from prior generations. They are the sailcloth that catches the wind of our continued voyage.
Thanks be to God and God Bless America.
Here is the very inspiring Thanksgiving message from President Ronald Reagan in 1985. His words ring true to this day. I hope you enjoy.
During the Civil War in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving as a national holiday:
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.
In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.
Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.
No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.
I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.
And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln