North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL


November 18, 2008

The true meaning of Thanksgiving

Mt. Olive Seniors by Dixie Kuykendall

The North Jefferson News

Thanksgiving is a celebration of family, friends, gratitude, eating and the excitement of football.

While the bounty of food is always the main event, gathering together with those you love is the real blessing. While it may seem rather predictable, every Thanksgiving gathering is different — loved ones missing for the first time and new babies to welcome.

The memories we have created over the years, the holiday traditions our families have developed, the things we are most grateful for and the things that we pass on from generation to generation is a large part of the holiday.

We have so much to be thankful for — we live in a nation where we can celebrate Thanksgiving by expressing gratitude to our Creator.

In 1789, George Washington proclaimed a day of “public thanksgiving and prayers.” It was a day for all Americans to acknowledge the many favors of God.

However, President Washington didn’t just say that we as individuals should thank God. He proclaimed that nations have obligations to God. He wrote, “…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 to humbly implore His protection and favor.”

Seventy years later, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed in October 1863 that the last Thursday in November should be set aside as a day of thanksgiving.

Today, at a time when our nation is in such turmoil and when public expression of faith and thanks to our Creator are under assault, it is especially important to remember the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

It would be a great idea to look back on George Washington’s words and, as a nation, be grateful for what we have and to humbly seek His protection and favor.

I wish for you and those you love a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, with much to be thankful for.

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