Before we celebrate the New Year, the holiday season is a time to gather with loved ones and appreciate the many blessings in our lives – including warm, delicious food shared amongst family and friends.
For Thanksgiving, loved ones will collect to share humble gratitude for the many things we are grateful for and create life-long memories.
Thanksgiving has been commemorated across the nation since George Washington issued a proclamation in 1789, urging Americans to give the Lord a "sincere and humble thanks."
It wasn't until 1863, however, that Thanksgiving became a national holiday when Abraham Lincoln first proclaimed the day be celebrated annually, inviting Americans to observe the holiday "as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father." Even in the midst of a civil war, which tore families apart and drastically divided our nation, Lincoln wanted Americans to remember the gracious gifts bestowed upon them.
Thanks to the spirit of the American people and the courage of those serving in our armed forces, our nation has overcome a number of struggles over the years. This Thanksgiving holiday, I thank the men and women serving in our military, as well as our health professionals and educators. Without them, some of our greatest blessings – freedom, education and health care access – would not exist. Their dedication to the prosperity of Americans does not go unnoticed and is deeply appreciated.
I understand the holiday season may be a difficult time for some to feel gratitude, but I hope you are able to look closely and find something to be grateful for, even in the smallest of things.
Bless you, and have a Happy Thanksgiving.
State Sen. Jeff Raatz (R-Richmond) represents Senate District 27, which includes
Henry, Union and Wayne counties, and portions of Franklin County.
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