Happy Thanksgiving. We hope you are enjoying your families and your food. Remember, if you know someone who may not be as blessed as you are, today or throughout the holiday season, save some food (or money or gifts) and deliver it with kind, loving words of comfort and cheer.
What we have to say today is important. Please read to the end.
Every Thanksgiving since 1961, The Wall Street Journal has published the same two thought-provoking and timeless editorials. An excellent reminder of the courage and perseverance of those first settlers of what would eventually become the United States, they also remind us of the strength and commitment to freedom possessed by the citizens of the nation we know today.
Read The Desolate Wilderness here.
Read And the Fair Land here.
Once you’ve read them, share your feelings with your family. Discuss what they really mean. Remember, as the turkey settles and the pies disappear, today is more than a celebration of a bounteous harvest.
Today is a celebration of what we are – great people doing great things to support great families in this great nation under an Almighty Great God.
Today’s media constantly barrage us with accusations that we are a fractured nation of selfish, racist, bigoted, worldly souls who care nothing for the needy, for the environment, for refugees fleeing their war-torn homes, for immigrants seeking opportunities to live free, or for individuals with backgrounds, morals or beliefs that may differ from our own.
Today’s politicians campaign endlessly with statements about the terrible conditions in which we live, promising that they alone can fix everything. They spend our money to fix the problems they have often created, but blame on us.
Today’s businesses encourage us to get out on “Black Friday” (and often even earlier now) so that we spend an entire month trading our hard-earned money for their goods that often won’t last a day or two. Today’s businesses often treat their employees as “human capital” so as to not have to think of them as actual individuals with families, homes and dreams.
If the original settlers of what was once a desolate, wild land had been able to foresee what this fair land would become, would they have remained in their relatively safe, civilized lands back in Europe? Has this land become what they fled hundreds of years ago? Would knowing this have kept them from embarking on their misery- and sickness-laden boats for the great unknown?
No, they would have done it anyway. They knew exactly what they were doing and the foundations they would lay for future generations.
For this we celebrate today; we thank God for leading those good people to the great unknown. A wilderness that, through the hard work of those who have inhabited the land, has become the great United States of America, the most free and fair nation that has ever existed.
As you give thanks today, remember that our foundation was not laid by media, politicians or business. Our foundation was built by people just like you, with elements and materials provided by God, through hard, hard work. God led those pilgrims to far-away lands, and God will maintain this land as a free nation if we but allow it and invite Him daily into our lives and hearts!
Today, give thanks to those deserving of your gratitude. You know who they are.
After today, you will again see and hear talk of terrorism and wars; of presidential politics; of another group or person you’re supposed to hate; of Cyber Monday sales available in case you didn’t shop enough on Thanksgiving Thursday, Black Friday, Small-business Saturday and whatever Sunday is. Through all of this, remember it is not upon the foundation of media, politics and business that this nation will continue to grow.
It will fall upon your backs, the backs of your children, your friends, your neighbors, your teachers, your churches, your service groups, to keep this nation great.
Remember the courage of the pilgrims and early settlers of this nation. Build upon that courage and work hard! Don’t allow anyone to dissuade you from doing good.
From the second article, And the Fair Land:
But we can all remind ourselves that the richness of this country was not born in the resources of the earth, though they be plentiful, but in the men that took its measure. For that reminder is everywhere—in the cities, towns, farms, roads, factories, homes, hospitals, schools that spread everywhere over that wilderness.
We can remind ourselves that for all our social discord we yet remain the longest enduring society of free men governing themselves without benefit of kings or dictators. Being so, we are the marvel and the mystery of the world, for that enduring liberty is no less a blessing than the abundance of the earth.
And we might remind ourselves also, that if those men setting out from Delftshaven had been daunted by the troubles they saw around them, then we could not this autumn be thankful for a fair land.
May God continue to bless America and the American people.