Tuesday, November 17, 2009

In honor of Thanksgiving

Ok, first of all, I think it's kinda funny that we (as Americans) need long weekends so much. This big national holiday is on a freaking THURSDAY! Seriously, how could we ever go back to work/school without getting a chance to work of all that pie? So we make throw in a perfectly nonsense 'holiday' for no (almost) no reason at all. I just think that's funny (but I am SOOOOO not complaning or anything...).

So, In honor of Thanksgiving, I am re-posting the declaration Abraham Lincoln gave, setting aside the last Thursday of November as a day of Praise and Thanksgiving (and mass turkey consumption).

"By the President of the United States of America.
A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. 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; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. 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 one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, 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, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln"

And just because I can, The Gettysberg address:

"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

I love that. It's like poetry, the kind I like.

Happy Thanksgiving.

(BTW, I know It's not Thanksgiving yet, but I was afraid if I waited I would forget)


  1. O.K I have to admit that was EXTREMLY BORING no afence I think i caught the flu! (cough cough)Love ya!

  2. I take no responsibility for my daughter.

  3. It's ok, Goldilocks; if you didn't think that was boring I would there was something extremely wrong with you ;) Sorry you're sick, that's no fun :( I'm looking forward to seeing you when I come up next week! :)

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Catherine said:
    Thank you, Migillicutty. I have never read either passage in its entirety and I very much enjoyed the opportunity to do so. The first one is especially beautiful. How times change. I would like to see a President, or any political leader, mention the collective "sins" of our society without being raked over the coals.

    Migillicutty said: PLEASE stop putting my real name down!

  6. I think it is the coolest thing in the world that you can understand and appreciate this style of writing. It's one of my proudest moments!


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