Thank you...Thanksgiving!

Thank you...Thanksgiving!
Posted on 11/02/2016

By Councilmember Tee Tyler

Abraham Lincoln was a great President of the United States of America. His Emancipation Proclamation, Gettysburg Address and steady leadership during America’s most difficult season were incredibly important to our nation’s history.

But today, I write about another great gift he left for us all; the national holiday known as Thanksgiving. In 1864, with help from Sarah Josepha Hale, he created U.S. Proclamation #118, setting aside the final Thursday in November as a national holiday: Thanksgiving. What he wrote at this event is worth re-reading.

By the President of the United States of America

“It has pleased Almighty God to prolong our national life another year, defending us with His guardian care against unfriendly designs from abroad and vouchsafing to us in His mercy many and signal victories over the enemy, who is of our own household. It has also pleased our Heavenly Father to favor as well our citizens in their homes as our soldiers in their camps and our sailors on the rivers and seas with unusual health. He has largely augmented our free population by emancipation and by immigration, while He has opened to us new sources of wealth and has crowned the labor of our workingmen in every department of industry with abundant rewards. Moreover, He has been pleased to animate and inspire our minds and hearts with fortitude, courage, and resolution sufficient for the great trial of civil war into which we have been brought by our adherence as a nation to the cause of freedom and humanity, and to afford to us reasonable hopes of an ultimate and happy deliverance from our dangers and afflictions:

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do hereby appoint and set apart the last Thursday in November next as a day which I desire to be observed by all my fellow-citizens, wherever they may then be, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe. And I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid that on that occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust and from thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers and supplication to the Great Disposer of Events for a return to the inestimable blessings of peace, union, and harmony throughout the land which it has pleased Him to assign as a dwelling place for ourselves and for our posterity throughout all generations.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this 20th day of October, A.D. 1864, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-ninth.

-Abraham Lincoln

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I like it better than Christmas or the Fourth of July or any other holiday we celebrate. I must admit that I like it for some selfish reasons. I don’t have to buy gifts, nor do I have to feel awkward in receiving such gifts as my mother’s inventive felt yardstick cover. Thanksgiving also comes with a great American meal, including cranberry sauce (I love cranberry sauce with my turkey).

I also appreciate that it stays on the same day every year, and does not migrate around the calendar always making me check to see what day of the week it will fall on. I like that it is always on a Thursday, mid-week, where it can be a break in our workweek routine and be a possible four-day weekend. Way to go, THANKSGIVING!

Thanksgiving also gives us all a chance to slow down a bit and reflect on the many, many blessings in our lives. Here are a few of the blessings I need to recognize again this year.

My wife, Debbie Tyler

My family, including four children and ten grandchildren

My U.S. Citizenship and my freedom

My church and the hope and faith it brings me

Utah and the blessing I feel it is to live here.

Another great blessing is to live in Cottonwood Heights, where I took root and raised a family.

This Thanksgiving, I want to thank all of you, my neighbors, and the citizens of Cottonwood Heights. They say that who you “hang out” with defines you. Well, I feel very fortunate to have hung out with all of you these past 40 years. Thanks for being truly great neighbors.

Besides my personal blessings, there are others in need of public recognition this Thanksgiving (I apologize in advance for forgetting someone.)

-First responders…CHPD and UFA

-Cottonwood Heights city staff and              council, who are dedicated professionals.

-Cottonwood Heights community volunteers who donate countless hours in our behalf.

-Teachers, coaches, and mentors for our youth

-Caregivers for our elderly

Additionally, I think it’s appropriate to thank anyone who lifts or inspires those around them.

As Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the wonderful holiday season, and to assure you that I do like the Christmas holiday, too, I leave you with a quote from another great president, Ronald Reagan.

“…In spite of everything, we Americans are still uniquely blessed, not only with the rich bounty of our land but by a bounty of the spirit – a kind of year-round Christmas spirit that still makes our country a beacon of hope in a troubled world and that makes this Christmas and every Christmas even more special to all of us who number among our gifts the birthright of being an American.”