In 2008, George W Bush issued his last Thanksgiving proclamation. After the first sentence: Thanksgiving is a time for families and friends to gather together and express gratitude for all that we have been given, the freedoms we enjoy, and the loved ones who enrich our lives. We recognize that all of these blessings, and life itself, come not from the hand of man but from Almighty God. Then Bush adds a historic perspective: Every Thanksgiving, we remember the story of the Pilgrims who came to America in search of religious freedom and a better life. Having arrived in the New World, these early settlers gave thanks to the Author of Life for granting them safe passage to this abundant land and protecting them through a bitter winter. Then he continues with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
In 2009 Barack H Obama starts: What began as a harvest celebration between European settlers and indigenous communities nearly four centuries ago has become our cherished tradition of Thanksgiving. This day’s roots are intertwined with those of our nation, and its history traces the American narrative. Then Barack goes on with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, after which he adds: We also recognize the contributions of Native Americans, who helped the early colonists survive their first harsh winter and continue to strengthen our nation. From our earliest days of independence, and in times of tragedy and triumph, Americans have come together to celebrate Thanksgiving.
In Obama’s narrative the reference to the Author of Life is gone, the Pilgrims are colonists, we are to thank each other and Thanksgiving is a harvest celebration.
Fourth of July is a celebration of the birth of the nation, Memorial day is a day of commemoration and Thanksgiving is a day of giving thanks to God.
We must not cheapen it to a celebration, celebrating each other for our good deeds.