Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Proclamation of National Thanksgiving

In case you were wondering why you had a paid holiday off for Thanksgiving, maybe putting things in perspective would be useful. I was driving down the road on the way to a locksmith job when I heard Rush Limbaugh read George Washington’s Thanksgiving Day Proclamation on his program, that along with some of the associated history.

A couple of years ago I’d expressed my thoughts on Thanksgiving and was roaming around the blogosphere for other articles of a similar nature. What I found repulsed me to a certain degree as I read about everything except gratitude to God for the many blessings we have been given. I found folks patting themselves on the back for a job well done, the greatness of their individual accomplishments and hardly a mention of the hand of the Lord in protecting our nation or the miracle that is America. Thank Heaven for men like George Washington who captured, in a fairly short proclamation, the essence of our gratitude and the humility we should continue to exhibit on a daily basis to our Creator.

I should give credit to Rediscovering George Washington , the source where I found this document even though it may be found elsewhere. The photograph, slightly cropped, is from Meridian Magazine’s fund drive article wondering if folks who received their free internet publication were thankful enough to send a donation; thought it was beautiful and didn’t think they’d mind sharing their artwork.

Proclamation of National Thanksgiving
George Washington
City of New York, October 3, 1789
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. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Steve Farrell has a good article over at his site, Thanksgiving for the Divine Source of our Claims – De Tocqueville.

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