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Thanksgiving is a holiday that sometimes loses the limelight . I think we can look at the origins pay tribute to the blessings we are given every day! Here are some facts you may not know (I got them from the wallbuilders website)
In 1789 President George Washington declared Thursday November 26th, 1789, as the first date for Thanksgiving under the new constitution. Other Presidents issued Proclamations of Thanksgiving , but the dates and even the months varied.
In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the Thanksgiving would be a regular holiday , on the last Thursday of Novemeber. Changes were still to come when President Roosevelt in 1939, worried that the last Thurday which fell on the last day of Novemeber that year, would shorten the Christmas shopping season (and dampen ecenomic recovery). He declared that Thanksgiving would be the second to last Thursday in Novemeber. This caused a little trouble, 32 states followed the proclamation, while 16 states refused the change, and for two years Americans celebrated on two different days .
Congress stepped in and on October 6, 1941, the House passed a joint resolution which made the official holiday the last Thursday in Novemeber. Think we are done now? No. The Senate amended the resolution and established the holiday as the fourth Thursday (to cover those times when November had five Thursdays…whew!) Surprising with all that goverment intervention that we have it at all!!
Here are some words to ponder from our Founding Fathers:
Congress recommended a day of thanksgiving and praise so the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts….Samuel Adams 1777
I appoint a day of public Thanksgiving to Almighty God….and that He would spread the light of Christian knowledge… Governor Thomas Jefferson 1779
I appoint a day of public Thanksgiving and Praise to render to God tribute of Praise for His unmerited goodness to us by giving to us the Holy Scriptures which are able to enlighten and make us wise to eternal salvation…
Governoer John Hancock 1790
As you make your list of things you are Thankful for, keep our men and women in uniform at the top . They are not forgotten, and our Thankful hearts ask God to hold and keep them in safety.
Happy Thanksgiving !
On the occasion of our sons first deployment, I could not stand that he would miss Christmas. I set up the tree, filled the stockings, cooked the turkey and baked the pies…all in October. (our new book We Serve Too!2, soon to be released ,mentions this!) This year, we have to do what most military families are doing, thinking about Christmas before Thanksgiving. I am not an expert at packing Chritmas boxes, but lots of good ideas can be had at the link below: http://awtr.blogspot.com/2007/11/christmas-care-package-ideas-for.html The point of this blog is to encourage you to include your children in creating the boxes that will be shipped to your service member! Kids love Christmas, kids love packages and kids love their deployed parents! This is an opportunity to teach them that the giving is truly the best part of the season, by making them major players in filling the box.
My grandchidren and I spent last night , getting the giggles and outright laughter as we recorded a message to Daddy on his recordable Christmas card from Hallmark. Ours plays jingle bells after the sweet voices of his kids shout “Merry Christmas Daddy!” The giggles came into play as we had to practice this short message, and then try the recording 4 or 5 times before we got it right! After we had it the way we wanted it, we pretended to be Daddy opening his card. This was a bit sobering, and we could feel the great pleasure he would get from this ( and a tear for me ). The children worked on some home made cards and artwork to add to the box. We had filled his camosock (see my post on camosock, it has a link) and made sure that the sunscreen his 4 year old had insisted on was in there. We added the nutcracker dressed in combat gear, and used tootsie rolls for packing peanuts. The kids were thrilled with the idea that Daddy would get this heartfelt gift, a peice of ourselves was in there. Merry Christmas Daddy! Enjoy your holidays and make sure to get those kids involved!
If I ever go to war…
If I ever go to war Mom, Please don’t be afraid.
There are some things I must do, To keep the promise that I made.
I’m sure there will be some heartache, And I know that you’ll cry tears,
But your son is a Soldier now, Mom, There is nothing you should fear.
If I ever go to war Dad, I know that you’ll be strong.
But you won’t have to worry, Cause you taught me right from wrong.
You kept me firmly on the ground, yet still taught me how to fly.
Your son is a Soldier now Dad, I love you Hooah, Even if I die.
If I ever go to war Bro, There are some things I want to say.
You’ve always had my back, and I know it’s my time to repay.
You’ll always be my daybreak, through all of life’s dark clouds,
Your brother is a Soldier now, Bro, I promise I’ll make you proud.
If I ever go to war Sis, don’t you worry bout me,
I always looked out for you, but I can’t do that anymore,
Cause I’m a big bro to all in America.
I love you so much and you know that, Your brothers a soldier now Sis,
So wipe your eyes, I’ll be fine even if I die.
If I ever go to war my Friends, We’ll never be apart,
Though we may not meet again, I’ll hold you in my heart.
Remember all the times we had, Don’t let your memories cease,
Your friend is a Soldier now, Dear Friend, And I’ll die to bring you peace.
And when I go to heaven, And see that pearly gate,
I’ll gladly decline entrance, Then stand my post and wait.
I’m sorry Sir I can’t come in, I’m sort of in a bind,
You see I’m still a Soldier Sir, So I can’t leave them behind.
By PFC Jonathan W. Guffey – Alpha Company
101st Airborne 2/506th Infantry Air Assault – Iraq 2006
10 July 2006
Veterans Day, a day we remember all who have served and are serving now. Our prayers rise to God with special thanks for each of them, and for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice , families that live with the daily reminders of loss on the behalf of our nation. Yesterday I attended our local celebration of Veterans Day. In our town we have a veterans memorial. A few hundred gathered there for music, a flyover, speeches by veterans who served in WWII and Vietnam. A young man who had just returned from the sands of Iraq spoke to us about the men fighting this war now, he said we are in good hands.
My one disappointment was that there were not many kids there. I encourage you parents and teachers to think a bit ahead of Veterans Day to see what the community is doing. As I stood there listening to our military heroes recount their days of service, I was thinking that our little ones should be getting the benefit of knowing that freedom requires sacrifice. As I watch (in awe) the flyover thundering under the blue Colorado sky, I thought that little ones hearts would pound with the excitement of “really cool planes”,and a parent could talk about the power our country has for defending good in the world. As I viewed rows of flags and names etched in stone, I thought that our little ones need to see the symbols of our nation. As I listened to the music, I wondered if they know the songs of the United States of America.
Some days are ment to live, not study. I asked my first grade grandaughter today what her class did for Veterans Day. “I did a worksheet Gramma”.
Next year she will be by my side at the memorial that bears the name of her father as an active soldier deployed to Iraq. She and her brother will be there for the flags and the music and the speeches. No more worksheets for my little ones.
Here is a video of first graders at Ft. Sill. Nearly all of them have a deployed parent. The shirts are cute, the voices sweet…enjoy ! Ft.Sill kids on veterans day
Some of you parents out there will assume that your children will learn the National Anthem and the Pledge a Allegiance in school, we did! This is not necessarily the case, so kids may want to know about Francis Scott Key , who penned the words to our national anthem while watching a battle between America and England. He saw the flag of our nation still standing in the early morning light and wrote the words by inspiration there. Look around next time you are at a ballgame…do the people stop? Do they put their hand over their heart? Do they seem to know the words? As military families we need to teach these signs of respect and allegiance to the next generation. Here are the words to our National Anthem :
The Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key
Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight;
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
The words to the Pledge of Allegience
I pledge allegiance
to the flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic
for which it stands,
and justice for all.
Talk to kids about the words. the meaning and what a pledge is, it is a promise to be faithful to the country they enjoy. I think that there is much American bashing, an attitude of those who call themselves progressives, that this nation is inferior to others . It is not. Let’s teach our children what is worth fighting for. In Jeremiah 15 it is said that we must decide what is important and what is worthless. Read it, and then take inventory.
Here is another place to see original documents and quotes form the founding fathers…decide by the documents themselves what was being said. It is also a good place to go if you feel a little rusty on American History! : http://www.wallbuilders.com/
Well, sometimes you just need to set aside a month to recognize what should be recognized 12 months of the year. This month, let’s remember military families make sacrifices for this nation in having to wait at home and keep the home fires burning while our warriors are away on foreign shores.
If you know a military family, take a moment to let them know that you appreciate them. Offer to mow a lawn, fix a leaking sink, or maybe get the family and needed oil change for the car. Do you lLike kids?:) (we do), offer to babysit and give that parent who is now alone a needed break! Maybe you can just mail a card, letting them know you understand that it is not easy to wait for many long months for a loved one to return home.
Whatever you do this month to recognize military families, adding some prayers for the safe return of our troops is always important! May is another military appreciation month and in April we commemorate the month of the military child. These are all wonderful times to keep us aware of the needs of our military.
Of course those of us who have a loved one far from home need no reminders, but we truly appreciate each small remembrance that the country stands behind our military families!
If you wonder how young children of our deployed service members feel, watch this. Welcome home!