America has much for which to be thankful. The unequaled freedom enjoyed by our
citizens has provided a harvest of plenty to this nation throughout its history.
In keeping with America’s heritage, one day each year is set aside for giving
thanks to god for all of His blessings.
On this day of thanksgiving, it is appropriate that we recall the first
thanksgiving, celebrated in the autumn of 1621. After surviving a bitter winter,
the Pilgrims planted and harvested a bountiful crop. After the harvest they
gathered their families together and joined in celebration and prayer with the
native Americans who had taught them so much. Clearly our forefathers were
thankful not only for the material well-being of their harvest but for this
abundance of goodwill as well.
In this spirit, Thanksgiving has become a day when Americans extend a helping
hand to the less fortunate. Long before there was a government welfare program,
this spirit of voluntary giving was ingrained in the American character.
Americans have always understand that, truly, one must give in order to receive.
This should be a day of giving as well as a day of thanks.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving in 1981, we should reflect on the full meaning of
this day as we enjoy the fellowship that is so much a part of the holiday
festivities. Searching our hearts, we should ask what we can do sass individuals
to demonstrate our gratitude to God for all He has done. Such reflection can
only add to the significance of this precious day of remembrance.
Let us recommit ourselves to that devotion to God and family that has played
such an important role in making this a great Nation, and which will be needed
as a source of strength if we are to remain a great people.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RONALD REAGAN, President of the United States of America, do
hereby proclaim Thursday, November 26, 1981, as Thanksgiving Day.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth day of November, in
the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-one, and of the Independence of
the United States of America the two hundred and sixth.