The Edmond Sun

November 22, 2013

We are thankful

Rep. Tom Cole
Special to The Sun

WASHINGTON, D.C. — This season marks a time of thankfulness, giving and reflecting. We remember rich and bountiful harvests of days past, even before we became a nation, and we collectively embrace that same spirit of gratitude today.

After the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth, the tradition of being thankful, sharing and feasting continued unofficially throughout the following century. But on Oct. 3, 1789, at the recommendation of Congress, President George Washington proclaimed the first Thanksgiving be observed nationwide. His words recommended a “day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.” We have been setting aside a day to count our blessings ever since and rightly so.

Many years have passed since Washington’s proclamation and even more years have gone by since that first celebratory feast at Plymouth Rock. Indeed, we live in a truly blessed nation.

We wake up each morning, go about our days and often forget that the freedoms we enjoy only exist in the United States of America.

These are freedoms that were laid out by our forefathers and came at a high cost by brave individuals, and people continue to volunteer to protect and defend the cause of freedom and liberty. Our nation’s founding principles resound loud and true, and they are still worth fighting for to preserve.

Many of us have been fortunate to grow up in this great nation, and while each person holds a variety of opinions and beliefs, Thanksgiving unites us and encourages a spirit of collective gratitude. We are reminded of our rich history, the unique blessings we possess and the still tremendous potential we hold as a nation.

As we feast with our families and friends, watch the parades, enjoy some football or anticipate the coming Christmas season, don’t let this day of thanks pass without counting your blessings and recognizing the truly great nation of which God has richly blessed us to be a part.

U.S. REP. TOM COLE, R-Moore, represents Oklahoma’s 4th Congressional District.