While preparing this Thanksgiving Day message, I was reminded that it was on October 3, 1863, with the Nation embroiled in a bloody Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation setting aside the last Thursday in November as a national day of thanks.
In his Presidential Proclamation, he enumerated the blessings of the American people and called upon his countrymen to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise. His proclamation began as follows:
“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, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.”
With Thanksgiving Day just days away, I’m certain many if not all of us are deep in preparation to celebrate this truly authentic American holiday. As is now tradition, on this day, family and friends will gather throughout the Nation to reflect and express our gratitude for our personal and collective blessings.
On this day when we give thanks, I’ve always been mindful and proud of that which makes our Township so wonderful, as seen in the outpouring of giving by so many of our citizens to those in need. I’ve said frequently that Scotch Plains is a great place to call home, richer for its ethnic diversity and family values. A community that shares a common belief, that we are better when we care for, respect and help each other.
So once again, despite everything that goes on in our lives, let us reflect and give thanks as President Lincoln decreed. Let us kindle our national spirit and give thanks to God for the blessings of family, friends, community and country. And as always, let us remember those in service to our Nation, our men and women of the armed forces, serving at home and in distant lands protecting our freedoms. Let us pray for their safety and that they may be reunited with their families soon.
With heartfelt joy, from my family to yours, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. May God bless you all, and may God always bless the United States of America.
Kevin Glover, Mayor
The Township of Scotch Plains