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A Thanksgiving Message of Gratitude to Service members and Families who tirelessly serve
Nov. 23, 2011 |
In October of 1863, just a few months after the bloodiest fighting of the Civil War at the Battle of Gettysburg,
President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation
setting aside the last Thursday of November “as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise.”
His proclamation read in part, “In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict.”
We celebrate Thanksgiving again this year with men and women, husband and wives, sons and daughters, engaged in battle and fighting for our freedom, not on the soil of this country but in distant lands far away from their friends, family and loved ones.
On this day, set aside for giving thanks, we express our gratitude to the warriors who selflessly serve to protect our country and the American way of life. We express our gratitude to their families, who tirelessly support our Service members while their loved ones serve in harm’s way. And we express gratitude to those caregivers who willingly take on the monumental task of assisting our wounded, ill and injured Service members as they travel their own road to recovery.
This holiday season we encourage you to express your own gratitude to our brave men and women in uniform, particularly our wounded warriors. Shake their hands in the airport, take a few minutes to listen to their extraordinary stories. Or, best of all, connect them to employment resources and opportunities that will help facilitate their smooth and productive reintegration to civilian life.
We echo the words of President Lincoln when he said, “I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessing, they do also… commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners and sufferers… 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.”
A Happy Thanksgiving to All!