The BlueSheepDog Crew wishes all of our readers and followers a very happy Thanksgiving! We also sincerely hope and pray that all of our nation’s law enforcement officers will remain safe during the holiday season, and are eternally grateful for their sacrifices and service. I have amazingly been scheduled for today off, so I will be celebrating with family, but I will hit the streets tomorrow for the weekend.
In giving Thanksgiving, take time to remember our nation’s brave military members who continue to fight for our freedoms throughout the world. Many are once again deployed away from their families, a sacrifice of service worthy of our remembrance and gratitude.
The United States of America is the most unique country and nation in the history of humanity. Our government was established by the people, of the people, and for the people. Unlike almost every other civilization in history, our people have the right to choose their leaders, their laws, and the manner in which we live and govern ourselves.
In contrast to many other countries, America is based upon the supreme “inalienable” rights of each citizen, over the powers and authority of the central government. This Thanksgiving holiday we want to express tremendous gratitude to the inspiration of our Founding Fathers who paved the way for the freest nation the world has ever seen.
History of Thanksgiving in America
We’ve all heard the Pilgrim story during our elementary school days, and for most Americans that is where our Thanksgiving tradition began. It has been historically documented that indeed the Pilgrims celebrated a Thanksgiving in 1621 after a particularly bountiful harvest. Celebrations continued in a non-formal manner for a couple hundred years, being proclaimed by both religious and government leaders alike.
The first official United States day of Thanksgiving was proclaimed by President George Washington on November 26, 1789, “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God”. Washington and the fledgling Continental Army had succeeded in defeating the mightiest Army in the world in 1782, paving the way for our nation to bloom as the light of freedom to the world. However, it wasn’t until 1789 that the various States could agree upon a National Constitution, and manner of government between the Federal government and the individual State governments.
An American Legacy
The year 1789 was indeed a year to give great thanksgiving. America could have collapsed into a chaotic, loose confederation of individual States – each deciding a form of government that could be completely different than their neighbors. Instead, the Founding Fathers used wisdom, insight, and even pragmatic sacrifice (allowing slavery to keep the Southern States included) to mold a Constitution providing the greatest individual freedom, rights, and protections in the world.
America has been tested and tried, but has consistently pulled through the fires that melt and mold nations. We have not been perfect by any means, and our history is replete with examples of greed, corruption, horrible work standards, and crushing of individual freedoms and hopes by big money interests. Despite the evils that can be manipulated in a free market system, the United States has grown into the most prosperous country the world has ever known.
The 4th Thursday of November
The Thanksgiving celebration has not always been uniform, as each State, and sometimes communities, decided to celebrate Thanksgiving in their own manner and date. The official declaration of the day of Thanksgiving celebration as the 4th Thursday in November was established during the darkest days of American history. In 1863, shortly after the bloodiest battle in American history at [easyazon_link identifier=”B005N4F37S” locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]Gettysburg[/easyazon_link], Pennsylvania (where 23,049, or 1/3 of all troops involved in the battle became casualties), [easyazon_link identifier=”068482535X” locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]President Abraham Lincoln[/easyazon_link] recognized the need of America to look towards the fundamental foundations of what America had been raised upon, and try to bring unity among the Northern and Southern States.
With the South refusing to recognize Lincoln’s authority, it was not until the 1870’s, during the Reformation period, that the 4th Thursday of November was finally established nationwide. Since that time Americans have jointly taken time to celebrate the blessings that America provides to all who live under her flag. Though there may be much debate on the “blessings” of individuals throughout America, one thing is absolutely true today, as it was in 1789 – a committed, hard-working, and creative person has no limitations to what they can achieve.
Our nation is full of examples of just such persons, who started in obscurity, and ended in worldwide renown. Some of those Americans include:
- Thomas Edison – home-schooled, petty salesman, inventor of the electric light bulb, movie camera, and General Electric
- Samuel Morse – successful painter, inventor of Morse Code for the telegraph
- Andrew Carnegie – poor Scottish immigrant, built U.S. Steel, and became a leading philanthropist
- John D. Rockefeller – son of poor con-artist, traveling salesman, built Standard Oil, became the world’s richest person and a leading philanthropist
- Henry Ford – farmer, inventor, developer of the assembly line approach to manufacturing
- The Wright brothers – inventors, architect, developers of the first aircraft
- John M. Browning – perhaps the most world-famous firearms designer
- William (Bill) Gates – college drop-out, inventor, entrepreneur, co-founder of Microsoft
- Steve Jobs – adopted, college drop-out, inventor, entrepreneur, and co-founder of Apple
- Mark Zuckerberg – college drop-out, co-creator of Facebook.
A Season of Celebration
This is my favorite time of year. I love to see the colors of fall, the relieving coolness coming after a long, hot summer, college football (War Eagle, Go [easyazon_link identifier=”B0057Y05E0″ locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]Auburn[/easyazon_link]!), and of course, getting into the woods to go [easyazon_link identifier=”B001CWGP2C” locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]hunting[/easyazon_link] with my boys. This fall I was also able to celebrate with my “Boys in Blue” as the [easyazon_link identifier=”B017HHOWIY” locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]Kansas City Royals[/easyazon_link] won their second [easyazon_link identifier=”B017HPDFCK” locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]World Series[/easyazon_link] after a 30-year drought!
No matter what you celebrate this season, find a reason to be thankful. The humility to be thankful is our acknowledgment that we’re all in this together, and depend on each other. With greater understanding of these simple truths we may just be able to bridge the gaps that divide us.