On October 3, 1789, President George Washington proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving to observe “…the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed.”
As it has many times since Washington’s proclamation, America is facing a period of challenge. Each time since its founding, it has overcome its difficulties and been stronger because of it. And each time it has looked to its leaders to set the course that re-discovers confidence and success.
The prospect of a new President of uncommon vision and a unique appreciation for the struggles of the common citizen gives hope that America will rise to its challenges once again. It is America’s freedoms -of religion, of political beliefs and of personal initiative- about which Washington counseled formal national appreciation on this day, that gives it that special ability to overcome obstacles and to break new barriers in the journey toward prosperity and human dignity. It is a time to appreciate them anew.
J. Richard Finlay