Thanksgiving An American Gem to Remind Us What's Important
The roots of the Thanksgiving holiday are religious. Despite the current cultural sparring over the role of religion in public life, then President Abraham Lincoln was clear about why he proclaimed the day a national holiday.
In his official announcement commemorating the establishment of the official holiday on October 3, 1863, Lincoln was direct:
“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.”
Despite its religious roots, for most of us Thanksgiving isn’t a religious holiday first most of us. For those of us who do have a strong faith, we use it as another way to show our appreciation to God. For those that don’t, they celebrate it for its true Americanism and the freedom it represents.
The reason I love Thanksgiving is because it is truly American. Besides the great food, football and leisure, it celebrates family and togetherness. It’s primarily a holiday celebrated at home amongst people you love. It’s time where we enjoy a bountiful harvest before we get set for the harshness, cold and darkness of winter. It’s a time of year when we celebrate our Americanism and just how lucky we all were to be born – or had the fortune to emigrate to – the United States.
Yes there are European and Native American traditions represented even in our modern celebration of Thanksgiving. But as is with most American traditions, they are a melting pot of ancient and modern ways to bring people together to be thankful for everything in our lives.Continued on the next page