Over the past few years I have watched Thanksgiving devolve from a special and wonderful time with family and friends into a national day of shopping. I was almost ready to capitulate and brand myself a crabby old fart when I rediscovered the proclamation, by President Lincoln, which brought our National Day of Thanksgiving into being. The Proclamation reminds us whose day this is, and what our posture should be. It is worth remembering why we do what we do on Thanksgiving.
Sadly, we have removed God from our National discourse.
That has changed our Nation.
We have replaced Holy gratitude, repentance, and Thanksgiving for what God has given us,
with a rampaging lust to go buy what we do not have!
I pray that each of us will reflect upon the words of President Lincoln,
and remember what Thanksgiving is all about!
Have a happy, Holy, restful, special, and blessed day
with your beloved family and friends!
By the President of the United States of America.
A Proclamation. [Details of gratitude and civil war have been edited for length.]
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.
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, tranquillity 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
William H. Seward,
Secretary of State