I am thankful for many things, among them a family I love and a country I love that protects my freedom. Especially now, as we have troops deployed overseas, many from Alaska, I am thankful for those who train and serve to defend our country and the right of people to be free.
On June 20, 1676, the governing council of Charleston, Massachusetts, instructed Edward Rawson, the clerk, to proclaim June 29 a day of thanksgiving--the first among the colonies.
More than a century later, our nation's first Thanksgiving proclamation was issued by President George Washington in 1789. In his proclamation, Washington said, "It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor."
President Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday, with the 1863 proclamation that it was to be a day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwells in the Heavens."
The date for Thanksgiving has moved through the years, but its purpose remains the same--a time to express gratefulness for our gifts of life, provision and freedom.
Carolyn and I wish you and your family a joyous Thanksgiving.
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