Did hear this week that “World War III” is trending across social media and tweeting jokes about it is all the rage? Surely this “trend” will spice up the conversation around your Thanksgiving dinner table.
If our world is in fact on the verge of WWIII, it is instructive to go back and read President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Thanksgiving Proclamation dated Nov. 8, 1941.
At that time World War II was “trending” in Europe and Asia (actually more like raging), but our nation had yet to become directly involved on a massive scale.
Of course that would change dramatically a month later, on Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Roosevelt, knowing full well that war was likely to ensnare America, issues this inspiring Thanksgiving Proclamation that reads more like a church sermon especially when he asks for “Divine Blessings” to “protect our way of life.” Surely we could use some of that protection now.
By the President of the United States of America
I, Franklin D. Roosevelt,President of the United States of America, do hereby designate and set aside Thursday, the twentieth day of November, 1941, as a day to be observed in giving thanks to the Heavenly Source of our earthly blessings.
Our beloved country is free and strong. Our moral and physical defenses against the forces of threatened aggression are mounting daily in magnitude and effectiveness.
In the interest of our own future, we are sending succor at increasing pace to those peoples abroad who are bravely defending their homes and their precious liberties against annihilation.
We have not lost our faith in the spiritual dignity of man, our proud belief in the right of all people to live out their lives in freedom and with equal treatment. The love of democracy still burns brightly in our hearts.
We are grateful to the Father of us all for the innumerable daily manifestations of His beneficent mercy in affairs both public and private, for the bounties of the harvest, for opportunities to labor and to serve, and for the continuance of those homely joys and satisfactions which enrich our lives.
Let us ask the Divine Blessing on our decision and determination to protect our way of life against the forces of evil and slavery which seek in these days to encompass us.
On the day appointed for this purpose, let us reflect at our homes or places of worship on the goodness of God and, in giving thanks, let us pray for a speedy end to strife and the establishment on earth of freedom, brotherhood, and justice for enduring time.
For the record and for comparison’s sake, here is the opening line of President Obama’s 2015 Thanksgiving Proclamation:
Rooted in a story of generosity and partnership, Thanksgiving offers an opportunity for us to express our gratitude for the gifts we have and to show our appreciation for all we hold dear.
Meanwhile, as war clouds gather over the Middle East, President Obama ignores the “trending” concerns of Americans except for one reference.
We also honor the men and women in uniform who fight to safeguard our country and our freedoms so we can share occasions like this with loved ones, and we thank our selfless military families who stand beside and support them each and every day.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Ask God to protect our nation at your holiday table since our president has somehow neglected to include that request in his official proclamation.