Thanksgiving 2020: A Time for Americans to Give Thanks for the Blessings of Liberty

image-11-first-thanksgiving-at-plymouth1

Thanksgiving Day.

Simply saying the words to myself brings back a flood of precious memories…memories of Thanksgivings past, as a child, surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins, my sisters, and my Mother and Daddy…smells of sage dressing and oven-roasted turkey…followed by the feeling of having an over-stuffed stomach…all topped by the sounds of laughter and the sight of my aunts and uncles, all members of America’s Greatest Generation, being led in a penny-ante poker game after the Thanksgiving meal by my Daddy, the finest man I have ever known…all of them enjoying each other’s company as they reveled in the wonderful completeness of being a family.

Thanksgiving is a uniquely American Holiday…as unique as the nation which celebrates it.

In 1621, a small group of Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared a feast celebrating the autumn harvest. This is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies.

However, Thanksgiving is much more than this.

Thanksgiving is a day when Americans thank their Creator for the blessings they have received during the year, while holding hope and expectation in their hearts for the blessings yet to come.

The Father of Our Country expressed his thankfulness concerning God and America, when he announced this holiday in 1789:

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations 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 – and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be – That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks – for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation – for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war –for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed – for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions – to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually – to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed – to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord – To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us – and generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789. – United States President George Washington.

On November 15, 1985, in the first year of his second term, President Ronald Reagan issued the following proclamation

Although the time and date of the first American thanksgiving observance may be uncertain, there is no question but that this treasured custom derives from our Judeo-Christian heritage. “Unto Three, O God, do we give thanks,” the Psalmist sang, praising God not only for the “wondrous works” of His creation, but for loving guidance and deliverance from dangers.

A band of settlers arriving in Maine in 1607 held a service of thanks for their safe journey, and twelve years later settlers in Virginia set aside a day of thanksgiving for their survival. In 1621 Governor William Bradford created the most famous of all such observances at Plymouth Colony when a bounteous harvest prompted him to proclaim a special day “to render thanksgiving to the Almighty God for all His blessings.” The Spaniards in California and the Dutch in New Amsterdam also held services to give public thanks to God.

In 1777, during our War of Independence, the Continental Congress set aside a day for thanksgiving and praise for our victory at the battle of Saratoga. It was the first time all the colonies took part in such an event on the same day. The following year, upon news that France was coming to our aid, George Washington at Valley Forge prescribed a special day of thanksgiving. Later, as our first President, he responded to a Congressional petition by declaring Thursday, November 26, 1789, the first Thanksgiving Day of the United States of America.

Although there were many state and national thanksgiving days proclaimed in the ensuing years, it was the tireless crusade of one woman, Sarah Josepha Hale, that finally led to the establishment of this beautiful feast as an annual nationwide observance. Her editorials so touched the heart of Abraham Lincoln that in 1863 – even in the midst of the civil War – he enjoined his countrymen to be mindful of their many blessings, cautioning them not to forget “the source from which they come,” that they are “the gracious gifts of the Most High God…” Who ought to be thanked “with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.”

It is in that spirit that I now invite all Americans to take part again in this beautiful tradition with its roots deep in our history and deeper still in our hearts. We manifest our gratitude to God for the many blessings he has showered upon our land and upon its people.

In this season of Thanksgiving we are grateful for our abundant harvests and the productivity of our industries; for the discoveries of our laboratories; for the researches of our scientists and scholars; for the achievements of our artists, musicians, writers, clergy, teachers, physicians, businessmen, engineers, public servants, farmers, mechanics, artisans, and workers of every sort whose honest toil of mind and body in a free land rewards them and their families and enriches our entire Nation.

Let us thank God for our families, friends, and neighbors, and for the joy of this very festival we celebrate in His name. Let every house of worship in the land and every home and every heart be filled with the spirit of gratitude and praise and love on this Thanksgiving Day.

In accordance with this tradition, on Wednesday, November 25th, President Donald J. Trump, issued his own Thanksgiving Proclamation to the American people, in which he said…

On Thanksgiving Day, we thank God for the abundant blessings in our lives.  As we gather with family and friends to celebrate this season of generosity, hope, and gratitude, we commemorate America’s founding traditions of faith, family, and friendship, and give thanks for the principles of freedom, liberty, and democracy that make our country exceptional in the history of the world.

This November marks 400 years since the Mayflower and its passengers faced the unknown and set sail across the Atlantic Ocean.  Propelled by hope for a brighter future, these intrepid men and women endured two long months at sea, tired and hungry, to arrive in a new world full of potential.  In the winter weather that greeted their arrival, they lost nearly half of their fellow travelers to exposure, disease, and starvation.  Despite unimaginable hardships, these first Americans nevertheless remained firm in their faith and unwavering in their commitment to their dreams.  They forged friendships with the Wampanoag Tribe, fostered a spirit of common purpose among themselves, and trusted in God to provide for them.  The following year, they celebrated a successful harvest alongside their Native American neighbors — the first Thanksgiving.  This seminal event in the history of our Nation is a continual reminder of the power of faith, love, perseverance, prayer, and fellowship.

The Mayflower’s arrival to the New World in 1620 also marks the arrival of the first seeds of democracy to our land.  Absent the rule of a monarch in an uncharted wilderness, these early settlers resolved to create their own government through what is known as the Mayflower Compact.  Defined by majority rule through elected leaders responsible for creating “just and equal laws,” the Mayflower Compact represents the first chapter in the long tradition of self-determination and rule of law in America.  One hundred and fifty-six years later, our Nation’s Founding Fathers resolved to break free from England, building upon the Mayflower Compact to establish an enduring government whose authority came solely “from the consent of the governed.”

This year, as our Nation continues to combat the coronavirus pandemic, we have once again joined together to overcome the challenges facing us.  In the midst of suffering and loss, we are witnessing the remarkable courage and boundless generosity of the American people as they come to the aid of those in need, reflecting the spirit of those first settlers who worked together to meet the needs of their community.  First responders, medical professionals, essential workers, neighbors, and countless other patriots have served and sacrificed for their fellow Americans, and the prayers of our people have once again lifted up our Nation, providing comfort, healing, and strength during times of uncertainty.  Despite unprecedented challenges, we have not faltered in the face of adversity.  To the contrary, we have leveraged our strengths to make significant breakthroughs that will end this crisis, rebuilding our stockpiles, revamping our manufacturing capabilities, and developing groundbreaking therapeutics and life-saving vaccines on record-shattering timeframes.

During this season of gratitude, we also acknowledge those who cannot be with their families.  This includes the brave American patriots of our Armed Forces who selflessly defend our sacred liberty at home and abroad.  And we pause to remember the sacrifices of our law enforcement personnel and first responders.  We are deeply grateful for all those who remain on watch over the holidays and keep us safe as we celebrate and give thanks for the blessings in our lives.

This Thanksgiving, we reaffirm our everlasting gratitude for all that we enjoy, and we commemorate the legacy of generosity bestowed upon us by our forbearers.  Although challenges remain, we will never yield in our quest to live up to the promise of our heritage.  As we gather with our loved ones, we resolve with abiding faith and patriotism to celebrate the joys of freedom and cherish the hope and peace of a brighter future ahead.

This Thanksgiving Day 2020, I’m thankful for Americans who are still making a difference.  “Average Americans” who still love God and country, and stand on principle with their feet planted on a Solid Rock, and not on shifting sands.

The “Average American”, the 9 to 5′er, working himself into the grave to try to provide for his family.

It was this same “Average American”, who fired the shot heard around the world and began the War for American Independence, who stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day in World War II, who waded through rice paddies in Vietnam, and who swallowed sand in Desert Storm and Desert Shield.

The same “Average American” who, as a New York City Policeman or Fireman, ran up the stairs of the World Trade Center on 9/11/01, instead of running down them.

The same “Average American”, who simply wants things to be easier in this life for his children and grandchildren, than he had it.

It is this same “Average American”, who takes family and friends in, when they are in the midst of a life-altering tragedy.

The same “Average American”, who volunteers on a soup line or at a Senior Citizens Home, or, who begins a successful business in his basement.

They are the reason we remain, in spite of all that has befallen us as a nation, the Greatest Country on the Face of the Earth, despite what those who are presently trying to take away our right as Americans to choose whom we want to be our President.

They are also the reason that we will Keep America Great.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Until He Comes,

KJ

Thanksgiving 2019: A Time for Americans to Give Thanks for the Blessings of Liberty

image-11-first-thanksgiving-at-plymouth1

Thanksgiving Day.

Simply saying the words to myself brings back a flood of precious memories…memories of Thanksgivings past, as a child, surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins, my sisters, and my Mother and Daddy…smells of sage dressing and oven-roasted turkey…followed by the feeling of having an over-stuffed stomach…all topped by the sounds of laughter and the sight of my aunts and uncles, all members of America’s Greatest Generation, being led in a penny-ante poker game after the Thanksgiving meal by my Daddy, the finest man I have ever known…all of them enjoying each other’s company as they reveled in the wonderful completeness of being a family.

Thanksgiving is a uniquely American Holiday…as unique as the nation which celebrates it.

In 1621, a small group of Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared a feast celebrating the autumn harvest. This is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies.

However, Thanksgiving is much more than this.

Thanksgiving is a day when Americans thank their Creator for the blessings they have received during the year, while holding hope and expectation in their hearts for the blessings yet to come.

The Father of Our Country expressed his thankfulness concerning God and America, when he announced this holiday in 1789:

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations 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 – and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be – That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks – for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation – for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war –for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed – for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions – to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually – to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed – to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord – To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us – and generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789. – United States President George Washington.

On November 15, 1985, in the first year of his second term, President Ronald Reagan issued the following proclamation

Although the time and date of the first American thanksgiving observance may be uncertain, there is no question but that this treasured custom derives from our Judeo-Christian heritage. “Unto Three, O God, do we give thanks,” the Psalmist sang, praising God not only for the “wondrous works” of His creation, but for loving guidance and deliverance from dangers.

A band of settlers arriving in Maine in 1607 held a service of thanks for their safe journey, and twelve years later settlers in Virginia set aside a day of thanksgiving for their survival. In 1621 Governor William Bradford created the most famous of all such observances at Plymouth Colony when a bounteous harvest prompted him to proclaim a special day “to render thanksgiving to the Almighty God for all His blessings.” The Spaniards in California and the Dutch in New Amsterdam also held services to give public thanks to God.

In 1777, during our War of Independence, the Continental Congress set aside a day for thanksgiving and praise for our victory at the battle of Saratoga. It was the first time all the colonies took part in such an event on the same day. The following year, upon news that France was coming to our aid, George Washington at Valley Forge prescribed a special day of thanksgiving. Later, as our first President, he responded to a Congressional petition by declaring Thursday, November 26, 1789, the first Thanksgiving Day of the United States of America.

Although there were many state and national thanksgiving days proclaimed in the ensuing years, it was the tireless crusade of one woman, Sarah Josepha Hale, that finally led to the establishment of this beautiful feast as an annual nationwide observance. Her editorials so touched the heart of Abraham Lincoln that in 1863 – even in the midst of the civil War – he enjoined his countrymen to be mindful of their many blessings, cautioning them not to forget “the source from which they come,” that they are “the gracious gifts of the Most High God…” Who ought to be thanked “with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.”

It is in that spirit that I now invite all Americans to take part again in this beautiful tradition with its roots deep in our history and deeper still in our hearts. We manifest our gratitude to God for the many blessings he has showered upon our land and upon its people.

In this season of Thanksgiving we are grateful for our abundant harvests and the productivity of our industries; for the discoveries of our laboratories; for the researches of our scientists and scholars; for the achievements of our artists, musicians, writers, clergy, teachers, physicians, businessmen, engineers, public servants, farmers, mechanics, artisans, and workers of every sort whose honest toil of mind and body in a free land rewards them and their families and enriches our entire Nation.

Let us thank God for our families, friends, and neighbors, and for the joy of this very festival we celebrate in His name. Let every house of worship in the land and every home and every heart be filled with the spirit of gratitude and praise and love on this Thanksgiving Day.

In accordance with this tradition, on Wednesday, November 27th, President Donald J. Trump, issued his own Thanksgiving Proclamation to the American people, in which he said…

Since the first settlers to call our country home landed on American shores, we have always been defined by our resilience and propensity to show gratitude even in the face of great adversity, always remembering the blessings we have been given in spite of the hardships we endure.  This Thanksgiving, we pause and acknowledge those who will have empty seats at their table.  We ask God to watch over our service members, especially those whose selfless commitment to serving our country and defending our sacred liberty has called them to duty overseas during the holiday season.  We also pray for our law enforcement officials and first responders as they carry out their duties to protect and serve our communities.  As a Nation, we owe a debt of gratitude to both those who take an oath to safeguard us and our way of life as well as to their families, and we salute them for their immeasurable sacrifices.

As we gather today with those we hold dear, let us give thanks to Almighty God for the many blessings we enjoy.  United together as one people, in gratitude for the freedoms and prosperity that thrive across our land, we acknowledge God as the source of all good gifts.  We ask Him for protection and wisdom and for opportunities this Thanksgiving to share with others some measure of what we have so providentially received.

This Thanksgiving Day 2019, I’m thankful for Americans who are still making a difference.  “Average Americans” who still love God and country, and stand on principle with their feet planted on a Solid Rock, and not on shifting sands.

The “Average American”, the 9 to 5′er, working himself into the grave to try to provide for his family.

It was this same “Average American”, who fired the shot heard around the world and began the War for American Independence, who stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day in World War II, who waded through rice paddies in Vietnam, and who swallowed sand in Desert Storm and Desert Shield.

The same “Average American” who, as a New York City Policeman or Fireman, ran up the stairs of the World Trade Center on 9/11/01, instead of running down them.

The same “Average American”, who simply wants things to be easier in this life for his children and grandchildren, than he had it.

It is this same “Average American”, who takes family and friends in, when they are in the midst of a life-altering tragedy.

The same “Average American”, who volunteers on a soup line or at a Senior Citizens Home, or, who begins a successful business in his basement.

And, it is this same “Average American” who, being fed up with the Democratic Party’s Far Left Crusade against anything and everything traditionally American, went to the voting booth and elected Donald J. Trump, a Citizen Statesman, as our 45th President.

They are the reason we remain, in spite of all that has befallen us as a nation, the Greatest Country on the Face of the Earth, despite what those who are presently trying to take away our right as Americans to choose whom we want to be our President.

They are also the reason that we will Keep America Great.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Until He Comes,

KJ

Thanksgiving 2018: A Time for Americans to Count Our Many Blessings

image-11-first-thanksgiving-at-plymouth1

Thanksgiving Day.

Simply saying the words to myself brings back a flood of precious memories…memories of Thanksgivings past, as a child, surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins, my sisters, and my Mother and Daddy…smells of sage dressing and oven-roasted turkey…followed by the feeling of having an over-stuffed stomach…all topped by the sounds of laughter and the sight of my aunts and uncles, all members of America’s Greatest Generation, being led in a penny-ante poker game after the Thanksgiving meal by my Daddy, the finest man I have ever known…all of them enjoying each other’s company as they reveled in the wonderful completeness of being a family.

Thanksgiving is a uniquely American Holiday…as unique as the nation which celebrates it.

In 1621, a small group of Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared a feast celebrating the autumn harvest. This is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies.

However, Thanksgiving is much more than this.

Thanksgiving is a day when Americans thank their Creator for the blessings they have received during the year, while holding hope and expectation in their hearts for the blessings yet to come.

The Father of Our Country expressed his thankfulness concerning God and America, when he announced this holiday in 1789:

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations 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 – and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be – That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks – for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation – for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war –for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed – for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions – to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually – to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed – to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord – To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us – and generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789. – United States President George Washington.

On November 15, 1985, in the first year of his second term, President Ronald Reagan issued the following proclamation

Although the time and date of the first American thanksgiving observance may be uncertain, there is no question but that this treasured custom derives from our Judeo-Christian heritage. “Unto Three, O God, do we give thanks,” the Psalmist sang, praising God not only for the “wondrous works” of His creation, but for loving guidance and deliverance from dangers.

A band of settlers arriving in Maine in 1607 held a service of thanks for their safe journey, and twelve years later settlers in Virginia set aside a day of thanksgiving for their survival. In 1621 Governor William Bradford created the most famous of all such observances at Plymouth Colony when a bounteous harvest prompted him to proclaim a special day “to render thanksgiving to the Almighty God for all His blessings.” The Spaniards in California and the Dutch in New Amsterdam also held services to give public thanks to God.

In 1777, during our War of Independence, the Continental Congress set aside a day for thanksgiving and praise for our victory at the battle of Saratoga. It was the first time all the colonies took part in such an event on the same day. The following year, upon news that France was coming to our aid, George Washington at Valley Forge prescribed a special day of thanksgiving. Later, as our first President, he responded to a Congressional petition by declaring Thursday, November 26, 1789, the first Thanksgiving Day of the United States of America.

Although there were many state and national thanksgiving days proclaimed in the ensuing years, it was the tireless crusade of one woman, Sarah Josepha Hale, that finally led to the establishment of this beautiful feast as an annual nationwide observance. Her editorials so touched the heart of Abraham Lincoln that in 1863 – even in the midst of the civil War – he enjoined his countrymen to be mindful of their many blessings, cautioning them not to forget “the source from which they come,” that they are “the gracious gifts of the Most High God…” Who ought to be thanked “with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.”

It is in that spirit that I now invite all Americans to take part again in this beautiful tradition with its roots deep in our history and deeper still in our hearts. We manifest our gratitude to God for the many blessings he has showered upon our land and upon its people.

In this season of Thanksgiving we are grateful for our abundant harvests and the productivity of our industries; for the discoveries of our laboratories; for the researches of our scientists and scholars; for the achievements of our artists, musicians, writers, clergy, teachers, physicians, businessmen, engineers, public servants, farmers, mechanics, artisans, and workers of every sort whose honest toil of mind and body in a free land rewards them and their families and enriches our entire Nation.

Let us thank God for our families, friends, and neighbors, and for the joy of this very festival we celebrate in His name. Let every house of worship in the land and every home and every heart be filled with the spirit of gratitude and praise and love on this Thanksgiving Day.

In accordance with this tradition, on Tuesday, November 20th, President Donald J. Trump, issued his own Thanksgiving Proclamation to the American people, in which he said…

This Thanksgiving, as we gather in places of worship and around tables surrounded by loved ones, in humble gratitude for the bountiful gifts we have received, let us keep in close memory our fellow Americans who have faced hardship and tragedy this year. In the spirit of generosity and compassion, let us joyfully reach out in word and deed, and share our time and resources throughout our communities. Let us also find ways to give to the less fortunate whether it be in the form of sharing a hearty meal, extending a helping hand, or providing words of encouragement.

We are especially reminded on Thanksgiving of how the virtue of gratitude enables us to recognize, even in adverse situations, the love of God in every person, every creature, and throughout nature. Let us be mindful of the reasons we are grateful for our lives, for those around us, and for our communities. We also commit to treating all with charity and mutual respect, spreading the spirit of Thanksgiving throughout our country and across the world.

Today, we particularly acknowledge the sacrifices of our service members, law enforcement personnel, and first responders who selflessly serve and protect our Nation. This Thanksgiving, more than 200,000 brave American patriots will spend the holiday overseas, away from their loved ones. Because of the men and women in uniform who volunteer to defend our liberty, we are able to enjoy the splendor of the American life. We pray for their safety, and for the families who await their return.

The intestinal fortitude that is our heritage as Americans…along with that still, small voice which still resides in each and every one of us, will continue, I pray, to guide our nation, and spur us on, to stay vigilant and protect our American Freedom, just as my Parents’ Generation did, against the enemies of that freedom, foreign and domestic.

This Thanksgiving Day 2018, I’m thankful for Americans who are still making a difference.  “Average Americans” who still love God and country, and stand on principle with their feet planted on a Solid Rock, and not on shifting sands.

The “Average American”, the 9 to 5′er, working himself into the grave to try to provide for his family.

It was this same “Average American”, who fired the shot heard around the world and began the War for American Independence, who stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day in World War II, who waded through rice paddies in Vietnam, and who swallowed sand in Desert Storm and Desert Shield.

The same “Average American” who, as a New York City Policeman or Fireman, ran up the stairs of the World Trade Center on 9/11/01, instead of running down them.

The same “Average American”, who simply wants things to be easier in this life for his children and grandchildren, than he had it.

It is this same “Average American”, who takes family and friends in, when they are in the midst of a life-altering tragedy.

The same “Average American”, who volunteers on a soup line or at a Senior Citizens Home, or, who begins a successful business in his basement.

And, it is this same “Average American” who, being fed up with the Democratic Party’s Far Left Crusade against anything and everything traditionally American, went to the voting booth and elected Donald J. Trump, a Citizen Statesman, as our 45th President.

They are the reason we remain, in spite of all that has befallen us as a nation, the Greatest Country on the Face of the Earth, despite what a certain Former President said this week.

They are also the reason that we will Make America Great Again.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Until He Comes,

KJ

Thanksgiving 2017: A Time to Remember That God Has Blessed America

image-11-first-thanksgiving-at-plymouth1

Thanksgiving Day.

Simply saying the words to myself brings back a flood of precious memories…memories of Thanksgivings past, as a child, surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins, my sisters, and my Mother and Daddy…smells of sage dressing and oven-roasted turkey..followed by the feeling of having an over-stuffed stomach…all topped by the sounds of laughter and the sight of my aunts and uncles, all members of America’s Greatest Generation, being led in a penny-ante poker game after the Thanksgiving meal by my Daddy, the finest man I have ever known…all of them enjoying each other’s company as they reveled in the wonderful completeness of being a family.

Thanksgiving is a uniquely American Holiday…as unique as the nation which celebrates it.

In 1621, a small group of Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared a feast celebrating the autumn harvest. This is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies.

However, Thanksgiving is much more than this.

Thanksgiving is a day when Americans thank their Creator for the blessings they have received during the year, while holding hope and expectation in their hearts for the blessings yet to come.

The Father of Our Country expressed his thankfulness concerning God and America, when he announced this holiday in 1789:

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations 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 – and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be – That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks – for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation – for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war –for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed – for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions – to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually – to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed – to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord – To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us – and generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789. – United States President George Washington.

On November 15, 1985, in the first year of his second term, President Ronald Reagan issued the following proclamation

Although the time and date of the first American thanksgiving observance may be uncertain, there is no question but that this treasured custom derives from our Judeo-Christian heritage. “Unto Three, O God, do we give thanks,” the Psalmist sang, praising God not only for the “wondrous works” of His creation, but for loving guidance and deliverance from dangers.

A band of settlers arriving in Maine in 1607 held a service of thanks for their safe journey, and twelve years later settlers in Virginia set aside a day of thanksgiving for their survival. In 1621 Governor William Bradford created the most famous of all such observances at Plymouth Colony when a bounteous harvest prompted him to proclaim a special day “to render thanksgiving to the Almighty God for all His blessings.” The Spaniards in California and the Dutch in New Amsterdam also held services to give public thanks to God.

In 1777, during our War of Independence, the Continental Congress set aside a day for thanksgiving and praise for our victory at the battle of Saratoga. It was the first time all the colonies took part in such an event on the same day. The following year, upon news that France was coming to our aid, George Washington at Valley Forge prescribed a special day of thanksgiving. Later, as our first President, he responded to a Congressional petition by declaring Thursday, November 26, 1789, the first Thanksgiving Day of the United States of America.

Although there were many state and national thanksgiving days proclaimed in the ensuing years, it was the tireless crusade of one woman, Sarah Josepha Hale, that finally led to the establishment of this beautiful feast as an annual nationwide observance. Her editorials so touched the heart of Abraham Lincoln that in 1863 – even in the midst of the civil War – he enjoined his countrymen to be mindful of their many blessings, cautioning them not to forget “the source from which they come,” that they are “the gracious gifts of the Most High God…” Who ought to be thanked “with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.”

It is in that spirit that I now invite all Americans to take part again in this beautiful tradition with its roots deep in our history and deeper still in our hearts. We manifest our gratitude to God for the many blessings he has showered upon our land and upon its people.

In this season of Thanksgiving we are grateful for our abundant harvests and the productivity of our industries; for the discoveries of our laboratories; for the researches of our scientists and scholars; for the achievements of our artists, musicians, writers, clergy, teachers, physicians, businessmen, engineers, public servants, farmers, mechanics, artisans, and workers of every sort whose honest toil of mind and body in a free land rewards them and their families and enriches our entire Nation.

Let us thank God for our families, friends, and neighbors, and for the joy of this very festival we celebrate in His name. Let every house of worship in the land and every home and every heart be filled with the spirit of gratitude and praise and love on this Thanksgiving Day.

In accordance with this tradition, yesterday, President Donald J. Trump, issued his own Thanksgiving Proclamation to the American people, in which he wrote…

…Today, we continue to celebrate Thanksgiving with a grateful and charitable spirit.  When we open our hearts and extend our hands to those in need, we show humility for the bountiful gifts we have received.  In the aftermath of a succession of tragedies that have stunned and shocked our Nation — Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria; the wildfires that ravaged the West; and, the horrific acts of violence and terror in Las Vegas, New York City, and Sutherland Springs — we have witnessed the generous nature of the American people.  In the midst of heartache and turmoil, we are grateful for the swift action of the first responders, law enforcement personnel, military and medical professionals, volunteers, and everyday heroes who embodied our infinite capacity to extend compassion and humanity to our fellow man.  As we mourn these painful events, we are ever confident that the perseverance and optimism of the American people will prevail.

We can see, in the courageous Pilgrims who stood on Plymouth Rock in new land, the intrepidness that lies at the core of our American spirit.  Just as the Pilgrims did, today Americans stand strong, willing to fight for their families and their futures, to uphold our values, and to confront any challenge.  

This Thanksgiving, in addition to rejoicing in precious time spent with loved ones, let us find ways to serve and encourage each other in both word and deed.  We also offer a special word of thanks for the brave men and women of our Armed Forces, many of whom must celebrate this holiday separated from the ones for whom they are most thankful.  As one people, we seek God’s protection, guidance, and wisdom, as we stand humbled by the abundance of our great Nation and the blessings of freedom, family, and faith.

The intestinal fortitude that is our heritage as Americans…along with that still, small voice which still resides in each and every one of us, will continue, I pray, to guide our nation, and spur us on, to stay vigilant and protect our American Freedom, just as my Parents’ Generation did, against the Axis of Evil.

This Thanksgiving Day 2017, I’m thankful for Americans who are still making a difference.  “Average Americans” who still love God and country, and stand on principle with their feet planted on a Solid Rock, and not on shifting sands.

The “Average American”, the 9 to 5′er, working himself into the grave to try to provide for his family.

It was this same “Average American”, who fired the shot heard around the world and began the War for American Independence, who stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day in World War II, who waded through rice paddies in Vietnam, and who swallowed sand in Desert Storm and Desert Shield.

The same “Average American” who, as a New York City Policeman or Fireman, ran up the stairs of the World Trade Center on 9/11/01, instead of running down them.

The same “Average American”, who simply wants things to be easier in this life for his children and grandchildren, than he had it.

It is this same “Average American”, who takes family and friends in, when they are in the midst of a life-altering tragedy.

The same “Average American”, who volunteers on a soup line or at a Senior Citizens Home, or, who begins a successful business in his basement.

And, it is this same “Average American” whom, being fed up with the Democratic Party’s Far Left Crusade against anything and everything traditionally American, went to the voting booth and elected Donald J. Trump, a Citizen Statesman, as our 45th President.

They are the reason we remain, in spite of all that has befallen us as a nation, the Greatest Country on the Face of the Earth.

They are also the reason that we will Make America Great Again.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Until He Comes,

KJ

Thanksgiving 2016: A Time for Reflection and Anticipation 

thanksgiving-dinner-1Thanksgiving Day.

Simply saying the words to myself brings back a flood of precious memories…memories of Thanksgivings past, as a child, surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins, my sisters, and my Mother and Daddy…smells of sage dressing and oven-roasted turkey..followed by the feeling of having an over-stuffed stomach…all topped by the sounds of laughter and the sight of my aunts and uncles, all members of America’s Greatest Generation, being led in a penny-ante poker game after the Thanksgiving meal by my Daddy, the finest man I have ever known…all of them enjoying each other’s company as they reveled in the wonderful completeness of being a family.

Thanksgiving is a uniquely American Holiday…as unique as the nation which celebrates it.

In 1621, a small group of Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared a feast celebrating the autumn harvest. This is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies.

However, Thanksgiving is much more than this.

Thanksgiving is a day when Americans thank their Creator for the blessings they have received during the year, while holding hope and expectation in their hearts for the blessings yet to come.

The Father of Our Country expressed his thankfulness concerning God and America, when he announced this holiday in 1789:

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations 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 – and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be – That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks – for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation – for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war –for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed – for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions – to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually – to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed – to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord – To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us – and generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789. – United States President George Washington.

On October 3, 1863, in the middle of the darkness and strife of a Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the following…

By the President of the United States

A Proclamation

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and provoke their aggressions, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict; while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United Stated States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth. 

Abraham Lincoln

In accordance with this tradition, yesterday, our President-elect, Donald J. Trump, gave the following heartfelt address to the American people…

We are very blessed to call this nation our home. And that is what America is: it is our home. It’s where we raise our families, care for our loved ones, look out for our neighbors, and live out our dreams.

It is my prayer, that on this Thanksgiving, we begin to heal our divisions and move forward as one country, strengthened by a shared purpose and very, very common resolve.

In declaring this national holiday, President Lincoln called upon Americans to speak with “one voice and one heart.”

That’s just what we have to do.We have just finished a long and bruising political campaign. Emotions are raw and tensions just don’t heal overnight.

It doesn’t go quickly, unfortunately, but we have before us the chance now to make history together to bring real change to Washington, real safety to our cities, and real prosperity to our communities, including our inner cities. So important to me, and so important to our country.

But to succeed, we must enlist the effort of our entire nation.This historic political campaign is now over.

Now begins a great national campaign to rebuild our country and to restore the full promise of America for all of our people.I am asking you to join me in this effort. It is time to restore the bonds of trust between citizens.

Because when America is unified, there is nothing beyond our reach, and I mean absolutely nothing.Let us give thanks for all that we have, and let us boldly face the exciting new frontiers that lie ahead.Thank you. God Bless You and God Bless America.

The intestinal fortitude that is our heritage as Americans…along with that still, small voice which still resides in each and every one of us, will continue, I pray, to guide our nation, and spur us on, to stay vigilant and protect our American Freedom, just as my Parents’ Generation did, against the Axis of Evil.

This Thanksgiving Day 2016, I’m thankful for Americans who are still making a difference.  Americans who still love God and country, and stand on principle with their feet planted on a Solid Rock, and not on shifting sands.

They are the reason we remain, in spite of all that has befallen us in the last 8 years, the Greatest Country on the Face of the Earth.

They are also the reason that we are about to Make America Great Again.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Until He Comes,

KJ