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Senator Tom Brewer
With Thanksgiving upon us, I wanted to take a break from politics and write about the day itself. Almost 400 years ago, in the Fall of 1621, long before the beginning of the United States, people came together to celebrate the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth (before Massachusetts). What fascinated me about the American Holiday of Thanksgiving was the role Abraham Lincoln played in this wonderful day.
Individual States had “days of giving thanks” sprinkled all over the calendar, but it was Lincoln who made it a day for the entire country. During the absolute bloodiest year of the Civil War, President Lincoln issued the first Thanksgiving Day proclamation, which all President’s since Lincoln have done.
It amazes me that he could think of a reason to give thanks in the Fall of 1863. I can’t think of a darker year of American history. Lincoln, always the glass-is-half-full optimist, could find a reason to give thanks. He didn’t use the proclamation for political points and he didn’t bash the Confederacy. He used it to give thanks for the entire country, even though it was divided. I think we should too.
We should start by giving thanks to all of those who do not get to have a Thanksgiving; who can’t take this day off.
Everyone in uniform, past and present, who are now and have missed countless Thanksgivings with their families being deployed to the four corners of the Earth. We should give thanks for our police and fire and emergency medical services for standing watch while we all enjoy a warm home and a bountiful table. We should give thanks to everyone in the hospitals and the nursing homes who have to labor on this special day. We should stop for a moment and ponder all the people who make our modern life possible from the prison guard, the electrical lineman, to the person who makes the sewer treatment plant run and even the person who fixes the cable so we can enjoy the traditional football games. For everyone we take for granted every day of the year, we give thanks to all of you.
Lastly, we need to realize that despite all our differences, it’s not 1863 in America. We really do have a lot to be thankful for. We have a lot to be glad and optimistic about.
Happy Thanksgiving every one!
Please contact my office with any comments, questions or concerns. Email me at; firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail a letter to; Sen. Tom Brewer, Room #1202, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509 or call us at (402) 471-2628.