Do you know the true origin of Thanksgiving as a national holiday in America?
The day was originally declared a national holiday at the urgings of Sara J. Hale, editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book in a letter addressed to President Abraham Lincoln.
At the time, the United States was reeling under a Civil War. This might have been on President Lincoln’s mind as he wrote a proclamation on October 3, 1863, declaring the last Thursday of November as a day to set aside for all American people to give praise to “our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”
In this proclamation President Abraham Lincoln began by saying:
“The year that is drawing toward 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 the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.”
It is my humble opinion that our country has gone to extremes in trying to be respectful to all people, and in doing so, has forgotten that this great nation was founded by our forefathers as ONE NATION UNDER GOD.
Lincoln went on to say:
“Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax 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 battlefield, 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 is my fervent prayer today that all of America give thanks to our one and only Father in heaven for His unconditional love and mercy. To give thanks for our many freedoms and for the very air we breathe and soil upon which we stand. And, instead of being a country divided, that we reach out our hands and open our hearts to peace and forgiveness, so we can once again be ONE NATION UNDER GOD.
May your hearts and homes be blessed by the presence of the Most High God, and may God bless America.