We have a president-elect who has impressed much of the nation with
his promise of unifying a divided country, and convincing them he can.
He has been deeply inspired by President Abraham Lincoln, and wants to
style his own leadership after him. 

So it’s timely to recall that we celebrate this holiday as a nation today because Lincoln decided that separate observations by the states should be fixed as one, unified day of thanksgiving.

Our nation has been filled with blessings, he began.

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.

He reviewed the state of the union at the time, which was in the
middle of the civil war. And he noted the abundant yield of the land.

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.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....