A Time to be Grateful

The past few weeks have brought profound and monumental change to the United States. While America remains a deeply divided country from a political standpoint, we all have many blessings to reflect upon – individually and collectively. I know my family and I do. Thanksgiving is a treasured time to gather with family and friends and to celebrate this time-honored American tradition.

Although the story of Thanksgiving that most Americans allude to involves the first colonists and Native Americans, the designation of celebrating this day as a federal holiday came over a century later. This national holiday received its first federal recognition from George Washington in 1789, as a day for Americans to show gratitude for the era of a new nation. Other presidents such as John Adams and James Madison also participated in proclaiming a “day of thanks.”

Thanksgiving did not become an official holiday until President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed it in 1863. President Lincoln was faced with a nation burdened by war, and designated Thanksgiving to be a day to pray for those suffering from war and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” This Thanksgiving, we would be wise to emulate his admonishment and reflect on the blessings that we have as citizens of the United States of America.

 

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