Every moment is a teaching moment. We engage learning with simple and profound lessons. We protect America's Family when we remember her history.
In the year 1863 America was a divided nation. It was a year the pen would prove to be mightier than the sword. It all began with a single, widowed mother. Sarah Hale had been writing thousands of letters for 38 YEARS to Governors and Presidents pleading with to have a national day of thanksgiving. 1863 found America to be a worn torn country, a country divided against itself, deep in civil war. President Lincoln, began the year with his own powerful words of the Emancipation Proclamation “I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States and parts of States are, and henceforward shall be, free.” However, July brought despair with devastating loss at the Battle of Gettysburg. When all seemed to be hopeless President Lincoln received a letter from Sarah Hale written on September 28, 1863. She wrote, “There is a deep moral influence in these periodical seasons of rejoicing, in which whole communities participate. They bring out…the best sympathies in our natures…If every state would join in Union Thanksgiving on the 24th of this month, would it not be a renewed pledge of love and loyalty to the Constitution of the United States?” By October 3, 1863 President Lincoln responded with a letter proclaiming the first National Day of Thanksgiving to be November 26, 1863 “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 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 the Almighty God…..fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it.” He penned and delivered the Gettysburg Address just one week prior to the first national Thanksgiving. “……that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that this government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from this earth.” The pen was mightier than the sword in 1863. A country divided against itself united in thanksgiving and prayer to save a nation and her people.
That same power lies within our words today. I implore you to learn why they American people began a tradition of thanksgiving. We are consistently faced in the education world with weak words such as, “we don’t have time to teach history, its not even part of the curriculum”, “we only teach math, language arts and reading”, “we spend 4-6 weeks out of our year in CAT assessments”, “if I don’t stick to the schedule I get written up”, “our salary is tied to these test scores”, “the school could be shut down if we don’t do well on the tests”, and the popular “I don’t need one more thing to do”. The future of our posterity cannot be founded on “things”. Take a moment with Sarah Hale and President Lincoln to ponder the “things” you do each day, the “things” that your thoughts and actions revolve around. To what have we increased our devotion? As we celebrate Thanksgiving remember the bounties and the source they come from. These thoughts may help decide what “things” are most important. Renew your pledge of love and loyalty to our Constitution and the freedoms it provides for your family and their education. Learn our history and build a foundation where a government of the people, by the people, and for the people will never perish.
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