I have been taught for so many years about the Pilgrims and the Indians and the very first Thanksgiving, but I have recently realized I've deceived myself. For one, that was in no way the first feast ever had in thanks of something and in reality Abraham Lincoln was the one to set the actually holiday of giving thanks, and no it was not to remember the pilgrims, our settlers or our strong survivor mentality of a nation. Abraham Lincoln proclaimed this annual holiday as a day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens".
Thanksgiving started in the midst of a war. A battle America was fighting within herself, The Civil War. A proclamation of thanks went out to the whole nation as it raged within itself. Abraham Lincoln gave thanks for the amazing respect and harmony that remained in the country outside of the battle grounds. He gave thanks for the food that continued to be produced, the trade that went on in the nation, the new life brought into the world as many were taken out. He acknowledge the severity of the state they were in, but his focus was on that which he was thankful for. In all this he did not applaud our human perseverance, or independent nation, but he gave thanks where thanks was due. Our God, our maker. He said:
"No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people."
So, raise a glass with me this Thanksgiving with one heart and one voice, that the whole of the American people can do just as President Lincoln said and be grateful!
Now lets EAT!
P.S. For those of you interested you can read more on Thanksgiving origins as well as the full letter from President Lincoln here: Wikipedia.com