Thanksgiving Day a time to count one’s many blessings

It’s easy to forget one’s blessings and to forgo giving thanks at this, or any, time of the year.

If one looks around, especially in the areas of politics and international relations, the news does seem to be unrelentingly bad, doesn’t it?

In no particular order then, political parties that can’t (or won’t) set aside differences for the betterment of the nation; an unemployment rate that remains too high, despite other improvements in the economy, most notably the stock market; continuing turmoil in the Middle East; the NSA spying on everyone; and the list goes on.

Yes, it is exceedingly easy to forget one’s blessings and focus on the negativity.

That’s why setting aside a day like Thursday – Thanksgiving Day – is so important.

Since 1621, when the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony hosted Wampanoag Indians for a communal harvest feast, the tradition of setting aside a day to give thanks has been central to our history as Americans. We celebrate all the things we take for granted when we should be grateful.

A national day of thanksgiving – Nov. 26, 1789 – was declared by President George Washington. In his proclamation, Washington called on citizens of the fledgling nation to express their gratitude for the happy end of the war of independence and the adoption of the Constitution of the United States.

John Adams and James Madison designated days of thanksgiving during their presidencies, as well. But it wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November. He asked for God’s help to heal a divided nation and care for those who suffered.

Our modern Thanksgiving celebration at home centers around, among other things, a turkey dinner with all of the trimmings. Thankfully, many wonderful community groups are staging their own dinners.

So, Superiorland, while we do have our share of problems and challenges, let’s all pause Thursday and count the many blessings we do have.

Have a great Thanksgiving Day!