To Give Thanks
Tomorrow the nation will pause as we spend time in a day of thanksgiving for the tremendous blessings of this land. Some years, when things are going well and life glides along smoothly, celebrating is easy.
This Thanksgiving, however, may be tough for some. Our country faces difficult times, economically and politically, and we are facing tremendous threats to our national security from rogue regimes like China and Iran.
But giving thanks is especially important in tough times as it helps to focus our hearts and minds on the important things in life, the things that truly matter -- faith, family and freedom.
Thanksgiving traces its origins back to the Pilgrims -- those hardy pioneers who arrived on the shores of North America and, against all odds, carved a nation out of the wilderness. They came to the New World not seeking fortune, but in search of freedom, and, more specifically, the freedom to worship God as they wished.
Testifying to the strong religious foundation of this country, thanking God for His blessings was a routine experience in our early years.
The first official National Proclamation of Thanksgiving was issued by the Continental Congress on November 1, 1777, in celebration of the victory against the British at the Battle of Saratoga. In 1941, as America confronted a world at war, Congress voted to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday.
In spite of the challenges we face today, I believe all of us can be thankful to be Americans. We are the descendants of the patriots who declared that "All men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
As Carol and I reflect on what we are thankful for, we thank God for our children and grandchildren. We are especially thankful for the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform and for the sacrifices of their families. We are grateful that America still produces patriots who are willing to "give up their todays for our tomorrows."
And we are so very thankful for each of you. Our partnership has created bonds deeper and closer than we ever expected and blessings far beyond what we ever can express.
We wish for you and your family all of God's blessings at this special time of year. And we thank you for the continued friendship and support that make possible my work in defense of our values.
I'd like to leave you with a prayer written by my daughter Sarah Bauer Anderson. It's from her latest book and is entitled, "A Liturgy for the Space Between Us."
For family near and peaceable, Lord, we give thanks.
For family far and conflicted, Lord, we give thanks.
For the ones easy to love, Lord, we give thanks.
For the ones we fight to love, Lord, we give thanks.
For people who see as we see, Lord, we give thanks.
For people we don't understand, Lord, we give thanks.
For people who don't understand us, Lord, we give thanks.
For easy conversation and expressed affection, Lord, we give thanks.
For gentle discord within our discourse, Lord, we give thanks.
For unity, not sameness, Lord, we give thanks.
For charity in all things, Lord, we give thanks.
For a world that reflects your goodness, Lord, we give thanks.
For humankind that bears your image, Lord, we give thanks.
For a day when we'll delight in our differences and not
just tolerate them, for a gathering of every tribe and
every tongue, for a table and a feast today,
anticipating the one we'll enjoy with You someday,
Lord, we give thanks.
As our families gather together this Thanksgiving, our office will be closed Thursday and Friday. The End of Day report will resume on Monday, November 30th.