During George Washington’s first term as the first president in 1789, he called for an official celebratory “day of public thanksgiving and prayer.”
The holiday did not become an annual event until President Abraham Lincoln announced that the nation would celebrate the official Thanksgiving holiday on Nov. 26, 1863.
A portion of Lincoln’s proclamation reads, “The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften the heart …”
During this time of Thanksgiving reflection, our SUN staff shares what we are thankful for this year:
Michael Taylor: “I am thankful for my best friend, Lurenda!”
Randi Pierce: “I’m thankful for family, friends, new opportunities, great memories and my awesomely cute cat.”
Missy Phelan: “I am thankful for the things that allow me to be able to live in this beautiful place, a roof over my head, the heat the woodstove provides when it’s cold outside, and my best furry friend, my golden, Kody.”
Shana Young-Gawdun: “I am thankful for my faith, my family, my friends, food on the table, my wonderful new job, chocolate and the best invention ever, my backscratcher.”
Phil Zappone: “I am thankful for my wife and our home.”
Renita Freeman: “I have the opportunity to live in a beautiful place and am excited that I will meet and make new friends over time. I am blessed to have a wonderful family. I am also thankful for my health.”
Shari Pierce: “I am thankful for my family. They continue to make me proud, to challenge me to be better, to teach me and to love me. … I am thankful for my brother-in-law Brad who has been through so many changes this year in his life with losing his mother and making a new home. He is positive, loving and graceful.”
Ed Fincher: “People are not thankful because they are happy. People are happy because they are thankful. Counting your blessings forces you to be a glass-half-full kind of person. Here’s what counts: a loving wife, supportive parents, successful children, a loyal dog, an appreciative boss, a job where the work is more important than the paycheck, and finally, living in Colorado.”
Mike Pierce: “I’m thankful for having supportive people in my life, both near and far. I am thankful for having opportunities and having the ability to fulfill those opportunities. I’m also thankful that I not only live in a country where we are able to create freely, but where we are able to create our own path to happiness and success.”
Robert Penton: “I am thankful for family and friends near and far.”
William Thomas: “I am thankful for my family.”
Terri House: “I am thankful for my loved ones, my dogs Moose and Hunter, my coworkers and the numerous blessings in my life.”
Collectively, we thank our readers, our advertisers, our contributors, our friends, our neighbors and our community.
Lincoln proclaimed, “I do, therefore, invite my fellow-citizens … to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.”
Sentiments such as these still seem rather fitting today.
Terri Lynn Oldham House