A Thanksgiving Of Significance

by Carol Kocivar | November 23, 2020 | 0 Comments
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A Day to Thank Those Who Keep Us Safe and Healthy

In a year of more challenges than we imagined, Thanksgiving Day gives us the opportunity to thank so many who help keep us safe and healthy.

Let’s give thanks to the workers in farms and grocery stores. Thanks to those working in clinics and hospitals and COVID-19 research labs. Thanks to our firefighters and first responders. Thanks to our teachers and other public servants. Thanks to everyone who respects the lives of others by social distancing and wearing a mask.

Thanksgiving Proclamations

Presidents Washington, Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt declared National Days of Thanksgiving in times of extreme conflict: the American Revolution, the Civil War, and World War ll. The wishes from those proclamations, delivered in tumultuous times, resonate today in our tumultuous time.

"...beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed…"

George Washington

"...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, tranquillity and Union."

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

Franklin D. Roosevelt

"...to protect our way of life against the forces of evil and slavery which seek in these days to encompass us...
...In giving thanks, let us pray for a speedy end to strife and the establishment on earth of freedom, brotherhood, and justice for enduring time."


As we celebrate this Thanksgiving Day — with far too many empty seats at the table — let’s join together in thanks for those who keep us safe and in a commitment to work together for a more perfect union.

A Broader Perspective on Thanksgiving

Giving thanks is not a uniquely American tradition. Autumn celebrations can be traced back centuries to ancient harvest festivals.

America’s romanticized story of the origin of the Thanksgiving holiday — the legend of Pilgrims in 1621 — has been updated in many history lessons to include different perspectives. Some Native Americans regard Thanksgiving as a day of mourning, as the video linked to the image below explains.

The brief video below traces the history of Thanksgiving in the United States to share with your family.

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