By Bill Keating
One hundred and fifty years ago last month, in the midst of a civil war, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that the last Thursday of November "as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise." His words still ring true today:
"It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.
"And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union."
As Americans, we have so much to be thankful for today. We are incredibly thankful for the sacrifices of our troops, veterans, and their families to ensure a free and strong United States. We are thankful for our harvesters who provide us with our food, our teachers who provide our children with an education, our police and fire who provide us with safety, and of course our family and friends who provide us with love.
Through all our thanks we must also keep in mind that there are many Americans that are struggling with many hardships. Please take time during our day of thanks to reflect how we can help the betterment of those Americans in need, so that we all may enjoy a more perfect Union.
With warm wishes and a Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours,
Rep. Bill Keating
MA 9th District