Toomeys Take: On Thanksgiving, Remember Men and Women of Great Character
"The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies."
That's how President Abraham Lincoln began his Thanksgiving message in 1863. It was a hopeful description of what had, in truth, been a very difficult year of civil war.
He went on to ask God to heal the nation and bring grace to the soldiers and the families left behind. Lincoln called on his fellow citizens to observe the last Thursday of November as a day of thanksgiving.
Lincoln might not recognize the holiday weekend these days. It's now part of our celebration to watch football and shop for sales with our families.
And that's okay as long as we remember that those lighthearted activities are possible because of our forbearers who came here for religious freedom; our founders who imagined a nation conceived in liberty; and the military men and women who protected those ideals over the generations.
My wife Kris and I and our three children will be enjoying our Thanksgiving meal and probably some football with my parents.
We plan to remind the kids how fortunate we are to live in a country where we can live, work, and worship in freedom.
These blessings are not a result of luck but rather of the sacrifices of men and women of great character who settled, founded, and defended our country.
So happy Thanksgiving Pennsylvania. And God bless America.
You can watch my Thanksgiving video address here.