Friday, November 25, 2011

George Washington Thanked Who?

I hope everyone enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday. With all the turkey, stuffing, football, Black Friday sales, and political correctness, it's sometimes easy to forget the original purpose behind the holiday, and the man who made it a national event. Fortunately, a column in USA Today helps remind us that...

"George Washington Thanked God for America"
by Brian W. Walsh

It used to be common knowledge that America's first national Thanksgiving Day was established by President George Washington in 1789. While a few modern critics might be rankled by, as Washington's proclamation puts it, an official "day of public thanksgiving and prayer," for most Americans the holiday stands as an enduring reminder of Washington's wise vision for American religious freedom.

To read the rest of the article, visit "George Washington Thanked God for America"


Tom Van Dyke said...


"From my family to yours, I’d like to wish you a happy Thanksgiving. Like millions of Americans, Michelle, Malia, Sasha and I will spend the day eating great food, watching a little football, and reflecting on how truly lucky we truly are.

As Americans, each of us has our own list of things and people to be thankful for. But there are some blessings we all share.

We’re especially grateful for the men and women who defend our country overseas. To all the service members eating Thanksgiving dinner far from your families: the American people are thinking of you today. And when you come home, we intend to make sure that we serve you as well as you’re serving America.

We’re also grateful for the Americans who are taking time out of their holiday to serve in soup kitchens and shelters, making sure their neighbors have a hot meal and a place to stay. This sense of mutual responsibility – the idea that I am my brother’s keeper; that I am my sister’s keeper – has always been a part of what makes our country special. And it’s one of the reasons the Thanksgiving tradition has endured.

The very first Thanksgiving was a celebration of community during a time of great hardship, and we have followed that example ever since. Even when the fate of our union was far from certain – during a Civil War, two World Wars, a Great Depression – Americans drew strength from each other. They had faith that tomorrow would be better than today.

We’re grateful that they did. As we gather around the table, we pause to remember the pilgrims, pioneers, and patriots who helped make this country what it is. They faced impossible odds, and yet somehow, they persevered. Today, it’s our turn.

I know that for many of you, this Thanksgiving is more difficult than most. But no matter how tough things are right now, we still give thanks for that most American of blessings, the chance to determine our own destiny. The problems we face didn’t develop overnight, and we won’t solve them overnight. But we will solve them. All it takes is for each of us to do our part.

With all the partisanship and gridlock here in Washington, it’s easy to wonder if such unity is really possible. But think about what’s happening at this very moment: Americans from all walks of life are coming together as one people, grateful for the blessings of family, community, and country.

If we keep that spirit alive, if we support each other, and look out for each other, and remember that we’re all in this together, then I know that we too will overcome the challenges of our time.

So today, I’m thankful to serve as your President and Commander-and-Chief. I’m thankful that my daughters get to grow up in this great country of ours. And I’m thankful for the chance to do my part, as together, we make tomorrow better than today.

Thanks, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving."

Needless to say, y'all knowing me as you do, I'm not feeling this one. I'm not feeling anything.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Glad to hear from you, Tom! Hope you had a special Thanksgiving, even if George was speaking in a "different time" and under different circumstances....

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Who do we thank today?

Americans thank hard work, reason, and a little luck. Americans have internalized the "Protestant work ethic", so we believe that we "deserve what we've worked for". But, some have come to feel that they have a "right" not to choose their vocation and pursue their interests for their own good, but that others have a duty to provide and give to them, just because they are humans.

And others have come to believe that everyone has a duty to equalize outcomes, as to the various discrepancies in life. The "rule of law" protected liberty for individual pursuit and a right to private property, but did not demand "the community" to be the "savior" of another, if they were unwilling to pursue a productive life.....

jimmiraybob said...

I'm not feeling anything.

You might consider immediately calling 911. Sounds like a stroke to me.

But, before you go, I'd like to thanks you for taking the time to post the current President's Thanksgiving address. Short, sweet and didn't interfere with football, turkey consumption or shopping. Well done.

While not the most inspired oratory it seems appropriate to the holiday in his role as the chief executive and commander in chief of the nation. I understand that a lot of conservatives and religious leaders are upset though in that the chief executive did not fulfill his role as religious leader in chief.....oh wait, wait a minute, that's not in the Constitution. Oh snap.

I guess that's why we have people like the Reverend Tubbs and thousands of other reverends, priests, preachers, ministers, rabbis, shamans, imams and mullahs, medicine men, and sundry other clergy and religious and spiritual leaders in the country.

Full disclosure: I am a member of President Obama's vaunted Kitchen Cabinet. I have a post card on the refrigerator to prove it. I'm glad I gave at the $100 level. (I hear that $50 was the bathroom cabinet level.)

jimmiraybob said...

Maybe the official written proclamation will have people feeling better:

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
November 16, 2011
Presidential Proclamation -- Thanksgiving Day, 2011


- - - - - - -



One of our Nation's oldest and most cherished traditions, Thanksgiving Day brings us closer to our loved ones and invites us to reflect on the blessings that enrich our lives. The observance recalls the celebration of an autumn harvest centuries ago, when the Wampanoag tribe joined the Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony to share in the fruits of a bountiful season. The feast honored the Wampanoag for generously extending their knowledge of local game and agriculture to the Pilgrims, and today we renew our gratitude to all American Indians and Alaska Natives. We take this time to remember the ways that the First Americans have enriched our Nation's heritage, from their generosity centuries ago to the everyday contributions they make to all facets of American life. As we come together with friends, family, and neighbors to celebrate, let us set aside our daily concerns and give thanks for the providence bestowed upon us.

Though our traditions have evolved, the spirit of grace and humility at the heart of Thanksgiving has persisted through every chapter of our story. When President George Washington proclaimed our country's first Thanksgiving, he praised a generous and knowing God for shepherding our young Republic through its uncertain beginnings. Decades later, President Abraham Lincoln looked to the divine to protect those who had known the worst of civil war, and to restore the Nation "to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union."

In times of adversity and times of plenty, we have lifted our hearts by giving humble thanks for the blessings we have received and for those who bring meaning to our lives. Today, let us offer gratitude to our men and women in uniform for their many sacrifices, and keep in our thoughts the families who save an empty seat at the table for a loved one stationed in harm's way. And as members of our American family make do with less, let us rededicate ourselves to our friends and fellow citizens in need of a helping hand.

As we gather in our communities and in our homes, around the table or near the hearth, we give thanks to each other and to God for the many kindnesses and comforts that grace our lives. Let us pause to recount the simple gifts that sustain us, and resolve to pay them forward in the year to come.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 24, 2011, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage the people of the United States to come together whether in our homes, places of worship, community centers, or any place of fellowship for friends and neighbors to give thanks for all we have received in the past year, to express appreciation to those whose lives enrich our own, and to share our bounty with others.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.


Tom Van Dyke said...

He thanked the Eskimos? Now I've heard it all.

jimmiraybob said...

He thanked the Eskimos?

It's a Kenyan Socialist Muslim Warlord thing.

jimmiraybob said...

He thanked the Eskimos?

But on a serious note and to steer closer to the post, don't you think that the great Nazarene moral philosopher would approve? George Washington?