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Well, it was the day after: Black Friday, huge sales, long lines, finding space in the fridge for leftovers, pre-Christmas Christmas shopping for some, for others, the day after the Cowboys squeaked by the Raiders. Hopefully, it had been a day spent with family and friends, laughing at the latest family missteps, remembering those who were here last year and now gone on. It’s the day most of us slightly overeat and then require naps due to the tryptophan in the turkey – Thanksgiving Day.
It was very interesting for me this year; I shared it with married children, grandchildren, in-laws and the Internet (one son in Florida). Several boyfriends and girlfriends of grandchildren attended, and I had the opportunity to learn something I had never really given serious consideration to; after all, “everybody knew.”
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Somehow the topic of “Thanksgiving” came up, and I asked one of the “girlfriends” what she thought about the day. Intrigued by her answer, I asked a couple more and found their answers equally so. Their responses ranged from the politically correct “thanking the Native Americans” for rescuing the Pilgrims, to football, a holiday break from college, Black Friday sales and the fact that (our first black president) Obama had pardoned some turkeys, who were retired to a farm. (One “friend’s friend” disagreed and insisted that the pardoned turkeys ended up being killed anyway.)
I found it interesting that none of them (my grandchildren excepted) acknowledged that Thanksgiving was a day set aside to “thank God” for the bountiful blessings bestowed on America and her citizens. With the exception of my “grands” (who had been “forced” to learn the truth about the holiday), there was an almost universal failure to acknowledge and/or recognize that the original purpose of the holiday was to acknowledge and publicly “thank God.”
While the last Thursday of November was not officially established as a national holiday until Abraham Lincoln did so in 1863, it had been observed, on various days, by Americans from the days of the Pilgrims.
The Founding Fathers had been neither shy nor reticent in acknowledging their recognition of the source of American greatness, as witnessed by the following quotes.
By the president of the United States of America, a proclamation:
“Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor – and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be…” (George Washington).
“It being our indispensable duty as a people, in a public and religious manner, to acknowledge the preserving and Governing providence of Almighty God, and more especially to celebrate the Divine Goodness in the various blessings conferred upon us in the course of the year past (John Hancock).
“As it hath pleased Almighty God to continue to the people of this Commonwealth great and unmerited Favors in the course of the year past; it is highly becoming, that after the example of our pious and renowned ancestors, a day should be set apart, at this season of the year, for the special purpose of rendering to the Father of all mercies the just tribute of gratitude and praise” (Samuel Adams).
So, what is Thanksgiving really all about? Long story short, with all due respect to liberals, atheists, First Amendment halfers, turkeys, football, Black Friday, parades, et al – lest we forget – the last Thursday in November is set aside, specifically, to give the American people the opportunity to publicly “thank God” for his bountiful blessings on America, the greatest country on earth! And all the Americans who know the truth said, “Amen and Amen!”