So, tomorrow many of us will gather around our tables to enjoy an American tradition that hearkens back to the Pilgrims and Native Americans and the difficult beginnings of our country. During the Civil War Thanksgiving was declared a national holiday by former President Abraham Lincoln, who said in 1863 “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”
Former President Franklin Roosevelt established our modern Thanksgiving Holiday as the fourth Thursday in November. This occurred in 1941…again during a time of war.
Many of us will gather with family and friends that we do not see often through the year…and we will have the best of intentions…but perhaps come up somewhat short in our goals of peace and harmony.
Mary Jane and my favorite Thanksgiving movie is Home for the Holidays with Holly Hunter and Robert Downey Jr. The movie aptly depicts the “beneath the surface” animosities and petty jealousies that often accompany holiday revelers at this time of year.
The Norman Rockwell beautiful depiction of Thanksgiving bliss entitled, “Freedom from Want” is what we are striving for. Also his artistic depiction entitled, “Freedom from Fear” is so appropriate for our troubled time.
I was told as a young man that there will always be those who have more than you…and those who have less. If I have a wish of this Thanksgiving let it be peace…and let each of us help our fellow travelers in this life. Not just those who look like us…and worship where we worship…but those who are seemingly completely opposite from us. There is much more that unites us than divides us as we race through the universe on this small blue dot.
G.K. Chesterton said, “We are all in the same boat on a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty.”
Being thankful is great.
“Let each of us help our fellow travelers in this life… There is much more that unites us than divides us as we race through the universe on this small blue dot.” Well said!
There’s that Chesterton quotation again!
And a reference to Carl Sagan maybe?
I hope you and yours had a wonderful holiday.
I chaired a campus wide committee at the university for several years and often recited the Chesterton quote…including reciting it to Chancellors and Presidents. I was not aware of Sagan but upon reflection I believe that you are correct.