George Washington’s 1789 proclamation of Thanksgiving was for a day of public thanksgiving and prayer…
to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to eftablifh a form of government for their safety and happiness:”
Then, with a government anew and the whole future ahead of the young nation, everyone knew the words, phrases, the history, the blood and lives lost, ‘all the soldiers, who cannot get older’…remembering and giving thanks to Providence:
that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our fincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the fignal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpofitions of His providence in the courfe and conclufion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have fince enjoyed;– for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to eftablish Conftitutions of government for our fafety and happinefs, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;– for the civil and religious liberty with which we are bleffed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffufing useful knowledge;
And Thanksgiving 2010 brings a new appreciation and thanks for our awakening, with eyes wide open, to the manner in which our Republic has fallen, and the tools which our Founders left us to rebuild it if we had to. And now we have to.
And also, that we may then unite in moft humbly offering our prayers and fupplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and befeech Him to pardon our national and other tranfgreffions;– to enable us all, whether in publick or private ftations, to perform our feveral and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a bleffing to all the people by conftantly being a Government of wife, juft, and conftitutional laws, difcreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed;
Like our Founders, we are charting new and dangerous waters…with the same need to secure for ourselves and our posterity a government which best provides for our safety and security and the pursuit of our unalienable rights. And in this task,
… 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 favour…
I give thanks to God for being alive at this time, and seek always his guiding hand and light.