President Lincoln created a national holiday in 1863 giving thanks to “the Most High God” for the abundant blessings bestowed upon the United States that year. It had been a brutal year in our nation’s history with the battles of Chancellorsville, Vicksburg and Gettysburg taking place in the preceding six months. The nation was still split in two and the war would continue until May of 1865 — longer than the President’s life.
Although not explicitly referencing Christianity or Judaism, the words of President Lincoln were unapologetically theistic. We are fortunate to live in a country which has been blessed by a great God. And on this day, we will give thanks.
For my family, we will celebrate our warm house, three healthy children and four living grandparents (it’s been a year since my mother-in-law’s stroke and she is still battling back). My wife’s family will be in town to visit us.
We will be cooking turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing. I’ll build a fire in the basement with a new cord of wood. And, yes, I’ll be watching NFL football with a beer in hand. It’s a great nation, isn’t it?
Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.