While many of our holidays are shared with the world, there are some that are uniquely American, Independence Day and Thanksgiving among them. Today we at OnionBusiness.com pause to reflect on the significance of Thanksgiving 2015, acknowledging the connection between the two holidays and our profound gratitude that we might celebrate freely and openly.
George Washington issued the very first Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789, declaring a “A Day of Publick Thanksgiving and Prayer…” that was “to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God…” by and for the fledgling United States of America.
Seventy-five years later, President Abraham Lincoln issued another proclamation as the Civil War raged on. He wrote, “It has pleased Almighty God to prolong our national life another year, defending us with his guardian care against unfriendly designs from abroad, and vouchsafing to us in His mercy many and signal victories over the enemy, who is of our own household. It has also pleased our Heavenly Father to favor as well our citizens in their homes as our soldiers in their campus, and our sailors on the rivers and seas, with unusual health. He has largely augmented our free population by emancipation and by immigration, while he has opened to us new sources of wealth, and has crowned the labor of our workingmen in every department of industry with abundant rewards. Moreover, he has been pleased to animate and inspire our minds and hearts with fortitude, courage, and resolution sufficient for the great trial of civil war into which we have been brought by our adherence as a nation to the cause of freedom and humanity, and to afford to us reasonable hopes of an ultimate and happy deliverance from all our dangers and afflictions…”
The Great Emancipator further advised “my fellow-citizens aforesaid, that on that occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust, and from thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers and supplications to the great Disposer of events for a return of the inestimable blessings of peace, union, and harmony throughout the land which it has pleased him to assign as a dwelling-place for ourselves and for our posterity throughout all generations.”
As we reflect on its meaning together, we wish you a happy and blessed Thanksgiving from OnionBusiness.com.