Thanksgiving 2020: We Have Much to be Thankful For
As America prepares to celebrate our first Thanksgiving since the onset of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, permit me to call your attention to the US National Archives’ “Congress Establishes Thanksgiving website, which reminds us why we celebrate this important holiday in the first place.
According to the National Archives, “…on September 28, 1789, just before leaving for recess, the first Federal Congress passed a resolution asking that the President of the United States recommend to the nation a day of thanksgiving. A few days later, President George Washington issued a proclamation naming Thursday, November 26, 1789 as a "Day of Publick Thanksgivin" - the first time Thanksgiving was celebrated under the new Constitution. Subsequent presidents issued Thanksgiving Proclamations, but the dates and even months of the celebrations varied. It wasn't until President Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Proclamation that Thanksgiving was regularly commemorated each year on the last Thursday of November….On October 6, 1941, the House passed a joint resolution declaring the last Thursday in November to be the legal Thanksgiving Day. The Senate, however, amended the resolution establishing the holiday as the fourth Thursday, which would take into account those years when November has five Thursdays. The House agreed to the amendment, and President Roosevelt signed the resolution on December 26, 1941, thus establishing the fourth Thursday in November as the Federal Thanksgiving Day holiday.”
As Americans come together to celebrate this time-honored holiday this year, encourage you to take a moment to reflect on things we all have to be thankful for, including family, friends, colleagues, our Constitution, our mission, our shared core values, and our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen and women who vigilantly stand the watch day and night, around the globe on our behalf of this great nation of ours.