On October 3, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln signed the document which officially designated the fourth Thursday in November as the national day of Thanksgiving.
Following the victories at Gettysburg and more importantly at Vicksburg, the people of Union, despite the horrific suffering created by the Civil War, had reason to give thanks.
After Gettysburg, Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia would never again muster as large an army as it had at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg and with the fall of Vicksburg, the Federal army could execute the final phase of Winfield Scott’s Anaconda Plan.
Lincoln still had to face re-election during the war, but militarily, the Confederacy had paid too heavy a price to ever regain its military superiority.
What have we citizens of the United States have to be grateful for during this fast approaching Thanksgiving Day. I cannot speak for anyone other than myself. I am thankful, in no particular order, for:
1. My lovely wife and our family, for their love, their support, and their patience.
2. My personal faith, and its promises, which sustain me when my life seems the darkest.
3. The few close friends in my life.
4. My counselor, and my doctors whose skills and compassion have guided me along a rather turbulent route to a better life style.
5. My publisher and his excellent staff who had faith in my work.
6. Answered prayers for those who needed it more than I.
7. A free country and its Constitution and an abiding belief in a government of laws, legally created by a legislative body.
8. Being alive and viable, warm, and well fed.
9. The thousands of individuals, who have touched my life, read my books, sat patiently through my classes and have tolerated some very, very bad jokes.
10. Too many blessings to count and the relegation of so many bad experiences to the past, which has enabled me to emerged as a victor rather than needlessly allow myself wallow in self-pity as a victim.
Like the Confederate’s prayer which I recounted in an earlier bog, “I am among all men so richly blessed.” Have a great holiday!