Let us come before him with thanksgiving.
                  —Psalm 95:2

On September 6, 1620, the Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, England, with 102 passengers. Sixty-six days later, it anchored at Cape Cod. “God sifted out a hundred and two seeds from the civilization of Europe to plant a new nation on these shores,” wrote Longfellow.

Forty-nine of those 102 Pilgrims died that first year—victims of malnutrition, disease, and brutal New England weather.

Even so, that autumn they celebrated their first harvest in the New World with a three-day festival of thanksgiving.

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving, to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November.

We, the richly-blessed descendants of those immigrants, lift our voices in praise and our hearts in gratitude.

God bless America, Land that I love . . .
God bless America, My home sweet home.
—Irving Berlin

Today is a wonderful gift. Don’t take
the gift and leave out the gratitude.

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