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Giving Thanks

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Tomorrow, of course, is Thanksgiving - certainly, one of the most profound holidays celebrated anywhere in the world. By decree, an entire nation is given time, not merely to feast and to play, but foremost to pray and offer thanks to Almighty God for blessings that transcend what is likely deserved.

In a nation that is becoming increasingly secularized, this annual day of giving thanks to God serves as a vital reminder of America's deeply religious roots.

It is good to remember George Washington's initial 1789 proclamation for this day - as a time "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."

A decade later, his successor, John Adams, issued a similar Thanksgiving proclamation:

"I recommend that on the said day the duties of humiliation and prayer be accompanied by fervent thanksgiving to the Bestower of Every Good Gift, not only for His having hitherto protected and preserved the people of these United States in the independent enjoyment of their religious and civil freedom, but also . . . for conferring on them many and great favors conducive to the happiness and prosperity of a nation."

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