Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Messages for 2016

Happy Thanksgiving. 

I cannot believe the holiday has arrived so quickly. It seems like I was enjoying the summer just yesterday. But, alas, not.

The weather in Maryland is still bearable. It was 24 degrees yesterday morning, but the region has escaped the snow that places like Central New York and the Mid-West have been besieged with.

As my thoughts turn to Thanksgiving, I felt a desire to see what our leaders, past, future, and present said about the holiday. 

President Ronald Reagan
During 1986, President Ronald Reagan made the following remarks about Thanksgiving:

Perhaps no custom reveals our character as a Nation so clearly as our celebration of Thanksgiving Day. Rooted deeply in our Judeo-Christian heritage, the practice of offering thanksgiving underscores our unshakeable belief in God as the foundation of our Nation and our firm reliance upon Him from Whom all blessings flow. Both as individuals and as a people, we join with the Psalmist in song and praise: “Give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good.”
One of the most inspiring portrayals of American history is that of George Washington on his knees in the snow at Valley Forge. That moving image personifies and testifies to our Founders’ dependence upon Divine Providence during the darkest hours of our Revolutionary struggle. It was then-when our mettle as a Nation was tested most severely—that the Sovereign and Judge of nations heard our plea and came to our assistance in the form of aid from France. Thereupon General Washington immediately called for a special day of thanksgiving among his troops.
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President-elect Donald Trump
Just yesterday, President-elect Trump made the following statement about Thanksgiving:

“We are very blessed to call this nation our home,” said Trump. “And that is what America is: it is our home. It’s where we raise our families, care for our loved ones, look out for our neighbors, and live out our dreams.”
He continued: “It is my prayer, that on this Thanksgiving, we begin to heal our divisions and move forward as one country, strengthened by a shared purpose and very, very common resolve.”
“In declaring this national holiday, President Lincoln called upon Americans to speak with ‘one voice and one heart,'” Trump said. “That’s just what we have to do.”


President Obama shared the following thoughts about Thanksgiving:
President Barak Obama
“Each year on Thanksgiving, the selflessness and decency of the American people surface in food banks and shelters across our country, in time spent caring for the sick and the stranger, and in efforts to empathize with those with whom we disagree and to recognize that every individual is worthy of compassion and care. As we gather in the company of our friends, families, and communities — just as the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag did centuries ago — let us strive to lift up others, promote tolerance and inclusiveness, and give thanks for the joy and love that surround all of us.”


At the urgings of three Presidents, I believe we should give thanks and remember our heritage and history as a nation. 

Enjoy your day as you celebrate with family and friends if you are so fortunate. Wherever you are, at home or abroad, take some time to reflect and give thanks for the blessings that you have.

May you find peace and joy as you remember the blessings of your life and the joy that friends and family provide. God bless the USA!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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