11.25.09

Thanksgiving Message from Senator Burr

As we enter the Thanksgiving season, we take time to gather with our friends and families to give thanks for the blessings bestowed upon us and our nation.

During these trying times, we find comfort in the time-honored and uniquely American Thanksgiving tradition. Since 1621, when the Plymouth colonists and their native neighbors shared their first Thanksgiving feast, people have gathered to give thanks. Thanksgiving is the very first national holiday, proclaimed by President George Washington in 1789 as "a day of public thanksgiving and prayer."

President Abraham Lincoln revived the Thanksgiving tradition during the Civil War. He asked God to "heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and Union." Even through one of the darkest years in American history, Lincoln saw that difficult times made it even more appropriate for our blessings to be acknowledged.

Today, amidst hard economic times when there are many around us who are struggling to make ends meet, it is important we focus on the aspect of our nation that are uniquely American to lead us back to prosperity: freedom, equality, and the will to persevere and succeed. At a time when so many are struggling, Thanksgiving is an important time for us all to remember and give thanks for our nation's many blessings. As Americans, we enjoy freedoms and liberties unrivaled anywhere else in the world.

Unfortunately, we sometimes take for granted the sacrifices that our men and women in uniform have made to protect us and secure those freedoms and liberties, and give all Americans the ability to pursue what our Nation offers. There are no words that can fully express the debt of gratitude we owe our nation's soldiers and veterans, and we should give thanks to them and their families for sacrificing so much during this holiday season.

I encourage all North Carolinians and Americans to come together and enjoy this time with family and friends, and remember all that we have to be grateful for. May God bless you and your families this Thanksgiving and may He continue to bless the United States of America.