Throughout time, people have celebrated times of thanksgiving, occasions during which they paused to consider the blessings of a year, a decade, a lifetime … as well as the lives of others who’ve blessed them. When Abraham Lincoln declared an official time of Thanksgiving, it was 1863 – war was still raging. But he took time out to issue a special proclamation.
The date was October 3, 1863. In his proclamation, President Lincoln noted the year had been “filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies.” He failed to mention the bloody battlefields at places like Perryville (KY) or Vicksburg (MS) or Gettysburg (PA). I doubt he had simply forgotten them or forgotten the carnage he knew had occurred on those battlefields. He chose rather to focus on the bounties he knew Americans treasured and enjoyed. Continue reading “With Grateful Thanks”