Dear Editor,

I was going to write a letter about Thanksgiving. It was going to be up-to-date and related to our Republic surviving another contentious election. It was going to be about how our neighbors here and all across our nation sustain our ideals of freedom, faith, fairness, courage and charity even in times as uncertain as these. I was having a hard time finding the right tone and sentiment to celebrate this reverent holiday.

Then it came to me, why not go to the source? It was President Abraham Lincoln who proclaimed our national Day of Thanksgiving in 1863. It is interesting that in a time when the Civil War and all its horrors ravaged the land and the nation itself teetered on the brink of self-destruction, Abraham Lincoln believed it was time to be thankful.

His proclamation said in part “I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, (to) observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our benevolent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also … with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience commend to His tender care ….” (Those in need) …” and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.”

The ideas of the Founding Fathers and the wisdom of Abraham Lincoln created and sustained our free Republic. Be thankful the right men were present at the right time to create the longest lived free nation on earth, a nation of the people and not of the government. There are forces in our land today that have either little knowledge of, or a distorted view of what America is about. This includes people on the left and the right.

Just as in the time of Abraham Lincoln, it is time to be thankful for our God given freedoms, rededicate ourselves to liberty and justice for all and strengthen our commitment to E pluribus unum: of many one. Be thankful for the millions who have served, been wounded or paid the ultimate price so we have the opportunity to be thankful to God in a free America on this day and every day. Be thankful for all the blessings you enjoy among family and friends. Be thankful we live in a nation where change occurs through freedom of speech, discussion, compromise and consent and not violence. Be thankful, and may God bless all Americans.