President George Washington summoned his countrymen in 1789 to a day of service to “that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.” At the top of the list was “the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war.”
When Washington decreed the first official national day of Thanksgiving, the line between war and peace was clearer than it is today as the fight against Islamist militants goes on in battles known and unknown around the globe. But Washington knew then, as we now know, that the “tranquility, union and plenty which we have since enjoyed” was a direct result of sacrifices in battle and the victory they obtained.
There is much for which Americans can be thankful, but we must always remember to first be thankful for that which makes all other blessings possible. For Thanksgiving we offer just two stories – one in pictures, another in words – to honor the servicemen and women whose sacrifices secure our freedoms.
A long way home - The road to recovery for Army Sgt.Matt Krumwiede, who lost both legs in Afghanistan, is captured in this moving photo essay from The Atlantic, featuring the work of Reuters photographers Shamil Zhumatov and Jim Urquhart. Fox News Chief Congressional Correspondent, Mike Emanuel suggested that we share it with you. “Among the many things I’m thankful for are the men and women who continue their tireless service in places such as Afghanistan,” Mike said. “I found this piece a powerful reminder of their incredible sacrifice.” See it here.
Unquestioned respect - This story of a spontaneous show of respect is must reading every year at this time. It comes courtesy of Brad Blakeman who recounts the tale of an Army private’s final journey home, and how a random act of kindness led to a demonstration of the decency and respect Americans hold for those who serve. Brad wrote: “It produced a chain or random acts of kindness that could never have been planned the way it played out.” Doing good is like that. You never know where it will go. Read it here.
And thank you, dear readers. Happy Thanksgiving. We’ll see you Monday.