Proclamation Establishing Thanksgiving Day
October 3, 1863
The year that is drawing towards 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 even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.
No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, 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, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.
I read this proclamation from President Lincoln and see so so many similarities with our country today as it was 145 years ago. Although we do not have armed conflict within our borders between one another, we have another conflict which may be even more damaging than that which our great Republic endured so many years ago.
We have the conflict among ourselves of one segment of society against another. The past few months have shown the foolishness of our excessive greed and I unfortunately fear that it will get worse before it gets better. Our society has consumed way more than it could produce...we have all tried our best to have it all. Instead, we should have been concentrating on helping one another. That it was one of the real joys of the holiday season to me, is helping those who are less fortunate than myself. If only I can bring a small measure of happiness to a family or a small children, then I have accomplished the true meaning of Christmas.
The Great Architect of the Universe has bestowed upon each of us his bountiful abundance and mercy. Look upon yourself and share that abundance and mercy with your fellow brothers and sisters.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Yesterday morning I was reading the paper and happened to see that Bro. Karl Killinger had passed to the Grand Lodge Above. Although I did not know Bro. Karl well, I had the pleasure of meeting him on a couple occassions. What a wonderful friend and brother. He and I had visited at High Twelve luncheons. He was also so friendly and gracious. The thing that I will remember about Karl (besides his wonderful music) was that he always had a smile.
Last year I attended the Iowa Veterans Band concert held the Sunday before Veterans Day at the Civic Center...what a treat. Karl was there in his white dinner jacket so ably conducting. This is an outstanding concert that is held each year. It was probably the best concert that I had ever attended...the music is simply oustanding. Karl Klllinger was the heart and soul of these concerts. I thought it was very appropriate that he had passed the day after the 2008 concert. One more concert by the maestro.
Karl was also a brother of our gentle craft. He was very active in the Consistory band and also in the Shrine Band.
I can also see Bro. Karl when he got to heaven asking where is my baton. The sweet sounds of the heavens now ring with the lovely music of Bro. Karl Killinger. Well done my brother, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Tomorrow is a big day in our country. A day when we as Americans go to the voting booth and exercise our freedom as Americans to elect our next leader. Irregardless rather you a Democrat, Republican, or Independent exercise the freedom which men have died to protect for you throughout the history of our country. This is what blood has been spilled for...the right for each of us as Americans to enjoy the freedoms and rights that we have. It will be a history day for the United States of America. Be a part of it!