The following statement was released by former congressional candidate Kesha Rogers (TX -22)
On this Thanksgiving, November 28, 2013, we take a moment to remember and give thanks for the life of a great President, John F. Kennedy. Fifty years ago this month, President Kennedy proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving. A proclamation signed by President Kennedy was to declare Nov. 28, 1963, nearly one week following his death, a day of national thanksgiving. He gave thanks "for our forefathers in Virginia and in Massachusetts, far from home in a lonely wilderness, who set aside a time of Thanksgiving," and who, "on the appointed day ... gave reverent thanks for their safety, for the health of their children, for the fertility of their fields, for the love which bound them together, and for the faith which united them with their God."
Kennedy, too, gave thanks, "for our first President, who, in the first year of his first Administration, proclaimed November 26, 1789, as 'a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God.' Washington called upon the people of the new republic to 'beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions... to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.'" President Kennedy reflected upon the valiant leadership of President Lincoln, who too, in the mist of America's tragic civil war, proclaimed a day of thanksgiving, as a day to renew our gratitude for America's fruitful fields, for our "national strength and vigor," and for our "singular deliverances and blessings."
Fifty years ago Kennedy then proclaimed, "Today we give our thanks, most of all, for the ideals of honor and faith we inherit from our forefathers for the decency of purpose, steadfastness of resolve and strength of will, for the courage and the humility, which they possessed and which we must seek every day to emulate. As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them."
Today on Nov. 28, 2013, in these perilous times we face, in a time when we see a world gripped by the presence of tyranny, war, hunger, exclusion, inequality, and a deep and utter disregard for the dignity of human life; we too give thanks, "not to utter words, but to live by them." We give thanks for an awakened and renewed spirit today among many in our population in recognition that, through all these leaders there exists a permanence of mind, with which we too must connect, that lives on within us today. Their bodies may have returned to dust, but their spirit lives in us. Their causes we, too, must emulate, and for this we can give thanks. We give thanks that the great problems we face today can be solved with the powers of reason and action, so that a greater future for those born and yet unborn, will be fulfilled.
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