Signs of the Times

Editorial in the Winter Park Herald Florida

The first official proclamation of a national Thanksgiving Day, issued by George Washington in October, 1789, acknowledges "the many and signal favors of Almighty God," but requests that there be public thanksgiving "for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted..."

A nation had been born, and its cradlesong was a song of thanksgiving. The cause which steeled the Pilgrim heart against a wilderness had now in a century and a half become a nation. The cause for which the Pilgrims gave thanks in 1620 was the struggle for freedom, and the nation for which our forefathers gave thanks in 1789 was the establishment of freedom. But freedom... cannot be inherited as an established thing, for only the type of government in which it may thrive can be passed on. Therefore our democratic freedom cannot be taken for granted. Men must still struggle for its life, and be thankful to Almighty God for the nation that is ours, and for the cause of which our nation is and must always be—the expression.

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November 19, 1955

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