"Times are tough. There are difficult months ahead. But we can renew our nation the same way that we have in the many years since Lincoln"s first Thanksgiving: by coming together to overcome adversity; by reaching for " and working for " new horizons of opportunity for all Americans. So this weekend " with one heart, and one voice, the American people can give thanks that a new and brighter day is yet to come."--Barack Obama.
Two years ago, I posted these thoughts on Thanksgiving:
I have been reading Barack Obama's new book, "The Audacity of Hope" on this Thanksgiving. Obama's astute words on Abraham Lincoln brought to mind the ongoing need for healing, thanks and humility in the United States. On October 3, 1863 as the Civil War raged, President Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day on the last Thursday in November:
"I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise... for deliverances and blessings, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, and commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union."
Barack Obama Carrying His Copy of Fred Kaplan's Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer
photo: (Anne Ryan-Pool)
On this Thanksgiving I am reading Fred Kaplan's Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer. On Saturday evening, Obama had a copy of Fred Kaplan's new book as he was photographed in Chicago. Not only will we have a new President who reads. We have a new President who is interested in gathering ideas from an American President who saved the nation from a Civil War and the evils of slavery:
"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have born the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan - to do all which may acheive and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations."
Fred Kaplan was "thrilled" to learn that Obama was reading his book and in the National Journal had this to say: "Obama is, like Lincoln was, an obsessive reader, who through his years of his education has read above and beyond what was required of him during his excellent American education."
On this Thanksgiving, Barack Obama is now President elect. Even though times are tough both economically and, as evidenced by the brazen attacks in Mumbai, in the global political sphere, I am convinced that today the American people can give thanks that a new and brighter day is yet to come.
This is just the first dawn in a new era. It will take time, hard work, and patience from the global community for this new hope to bear fruit. Nevertheless, we are on our way.
Reading Obama on Thanksgiving
Obama Reading About Lincoln Again
Harper Collins Page on Fred Kaplan's Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer