From the Laurel Leader Call…

Twelve years after despair led him to kneel in prayer at Valley Forge, President Washington proclaimed November 26, 1789, as Thanksgiving Day.

He had not forgotten the hopelessness he once felt, the courageous struggles of his men or the answered prayers of an earlier time.

In his Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, he asked the people of the United States to observe “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer” so that they might acknowledge “with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.” He likewise reminded the country that “it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”

Despite great uncertainty, Washington, like the majority of our founders, held strongly to his religious faith, with prayer representing an essential part of his distinguished life.

He had a clear understanding from whence his strength arose, giving thanks to an almighty God for his continued blessings of liberty.

During this season, may our struggling republic recall the lesson he imparted: when it seems despair has triumphed over hope and darkness has smothered the soul, a heavenly answer is always waiting to be found, whenever bended knees meet the cold, hard ground.

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