When we think about the origin of Thanksgiving, many of us often recall when the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth and shared an autumn harvest feast with Native Americans. Few recognize George Washington was the first president to proclaim a day of thanksgiving in 1789, and it was a proclamation by Abraham Lincoln in 1863 that set the precedent for America’s national day of giving thanks. In 1941, congress declared the fourth Thursday of November as an official holiday called Thanksgiving.
President Lincoln’s proclamation contained several statements that I feel are very relevant today. One such statement is, “The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. [It is] to these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come.” There have been many difficult times this year; however, North Ogden and the United States have been abundantly blessed, and we sometimes fail to recognize all the good things in our lives. I would encourage each of us take a moment and identify the good things that surround us. President Lincoln also implored that the wounds of the nation would be healed, and the nation would be restored to its divine purposes of the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union. What wonderful things to seek this Thanksgiving, not only in our country, but in our city!
During the Thanksgiving holiday, we are often asked to identify the blessings in our lives. Common answers include family, friends, and other bounteous things. But what about the more obscure blessings in our lives? Are we thankful for the police officers who sacrifice their Thanksgiving Day to protect our community? How about the firefighters who are on duty in case we need them? What about the grocery store workers who keep stores open in case we forgot something for our Thanksgiving dinner? Do we think about the farmer and truck driver who provide and deliver the food we enjoy not only at Thanksgiving, but every day? Those who collect our garbage provide a great blessing in our lives. I challenge each of us to thank those who provide the more obscure blessings we enjoy.
I contemplated something I am thankful for this Thanksgiving, and the following story came to mind. As an older lady approached her car at the grocery store, she noticed four men sitting in her car. She immediately reached into her purse, pulled out her gun, and told the men to get out of her car. The men scrambled to safety. As she went to get into the car, she realized it wasn’t her car. She immediately went to the police department to explain her mistake, where she saw four men filing a complaint about a lady who had carjacked their vehicle at the grocery store! This story caused me to be grateful for those who forgive me of my mistakes, which are many. What are you grateful for?
May you enjoy this Thanksgiving season!