At a time when everything that surrounds us seems to be global in nature, it is nice to have a day set aside that is distinctly American. Established by President Abraham Lincoln in the midst of the Civil War in 1863, Thanksgiving celebrates the American spirit – a spirit that can rise in the face of adversity and forge ahead through any hardship.

As the nation gathers to celebrate this day with family and friends, I cannot help but think of the turmoil and tragedy that Lincoln faced. In midst of that awful bloodshed he found much to be grateful for, making the doom and gloom we face today seem small in comparison.

Here is a portion of his proclamation:

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 wherof I have herunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. (Signed) Abraham Lincoln

Many blessings to you and yours and may you find much to be thankful for!


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