Archived Story

Proos: Thanksgiving still rooted in the blessings of the friends, family and freedom

Published 3:48pm Wednesday, November 21, 2012

By Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph

The first Thanksgiving was simple. It was a three-day long celebration of a bountiful harvest and included singing, dancing and feasting.

While much has changed during the centuries since the first Thanksgiving, the holiday is still rooted in the same foundations: family and friends.
While most of us now get our food from the market, and traditions such as parades, football games or “Black Friday” have become as much a part of Thanksgiving as pumpkin pie, at its core it is still a time to celebrate the many blessings that have been bestowed on us.

In a world where we are constantly connected and seemingly always busy, Thanksgiving is a rare moment to cast the worries of our everyday life aside and relax with our loved ones.

As Southwest Michigan families gather to enjoy turkey and honor other family traditions, I encourage everyone to recognize the true spirit of Thanksgiving.

More than 150 years after the first feast, President Washington proclaimed Thanksgiving Day as a time to celebrate a young nation’s freedom and liberty.

After falling out of favor, the holiday was reborn by President Lincoln in 1863 in order to reunite a country torn apart by civil war. In his Proclamation on Thanksgiving, Lincoln wrote, “The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies.

“To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come…”

This year, I hope everyone will have the opportunity to gather with family and friends, enjoy the Thanksgiving fare and celebrate the most cherished thing we have: one another.

Most importantly, I encourage you all take the time to reflect upon our gratitude to all, not just those at your Thanksgiving table.

Remember to give thanks for the blessing of living in the land of the free and express our gratefulness for the brave men and women who keep us free.

May God bless and fill your hearts and homes with love.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, represents the 21st District, which includes Berrien and Cass counties and most of Van Buren County.

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