[November 28, 2019] On occasion, I provide a special message for our troops, especially for those deployed overseas and in harm’s way. Two days ago I attended an early-morning Prayer Breakfast in the small town where I live. Those in attendance had one message – be united – and in doing so we will be the guiding light for those that are lost and we will bring fear into the hearts of those who are evil.
A Thanksgiving Message:
In 1777, during our War of Independence, the Continental Congress set aside a day for thanksgiving and praise for our victory at the battle of Saratoga. It was the first time all the colonies took part in such an event on the same day. The following year, upon news that France was coming to our aid, George Washington at Valley Forge prescribed a special day of thanksgiving. Later, as our first President, he responded to a Congressional petition by declaring Thursday, November 26, 1789, the first Thanksgiving Day of the United States of America.
Abraham Lincoln, even in the midst of the U.S. Civil War, enjoined his countrymen to be mindful of their many blessings, cautioning them not to forget “the source from which they come,” that they are “the gracious gifts of the Most High God…”
Today, even as the world emerges from a period of strategic and economic atrophy, we remain a free nation, guarded by the dedication, loyalty, honorable service, and courage of our U.S. military. Let us take heart from the noble example of our first President and our military and let us ever be mindful of the faith and spiritual values that have made our Nation great and that alone can keep us great.
As this special holiday draws near, I want to extend my gratitude to the entire U.S. Military for their work to keep our country strong and secure. Whether you are in uniform or a civilian, whether deployed abroad or stationed here at home, whether retired, family member, or supporter of our troops, it is your service and commitment that allows Americans to enjoy the blessings of Thanksgiving. Your strength, selflessness, and patriotism are deeply appreciated and we are very thankful for your commitment to our country.
Herein are an old Soldier’s thoughts that express the challenge of the warrior and the spirit of our nation:
If the duty and service to my country and its people are the fires of a forge…. then I am the hardened steel of the sharpest sword that is wielded by our leaders as they use and sacrifice the few to protect the many from the evil that would engulf us all…. I have stood the line…. the line between evil and the ugly violence they use…. I have done my duty without reservation, and bore witness to the sacrifice of those that stood the line with me…. the fires of this forge have made me the man that stands before you …. may you only see the good in me, may you only feel the warmth of the protection I provide, you may only feel the safety that comes from an old battle-hardened warrior…. but below the surface there is another man…. there is a fire, unlike the heat of any forge…. a fierce, fiery determination of will that is the face inspiration and strength to our Soldiers and absolute terror to our enemies…. the heat of this internal fire, has cost me everything that has ever been dear to me….To the Warriors, the ones who came home but are still in a fight for their lives…. From the battlefields of freedom and liberty to your safe, secure, and free living-rooms, may God give you the strength to fight the fight, to never let others take your freedom and your liberty, to have the courage to lead where ever you are!
It is in such a spirit that I now invite us all to take part again in this beautiful tradition with its roots deep in our history and deeper still in our hearts.
God Bless America and its allies! Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!
Note: Remember that being a leader means being selfless. That is the core of leadership. https://www.theleadermaker.com/leaders-thanksgiving-day/