Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Day of Thanksgiving for a New Nation

President George Washington's first Thanksgiving Proclamation to the new nation:

Thanksgiving Proclamation
City of New York, October 3, 1789

WHEREAS 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 favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANKSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:

"NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be;

That we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation;

For the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war;

For the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;

For the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish Constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;

For the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;

And, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions;

To enable us all, whether in publick or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually;

To render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed;

To protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord;

To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

National Museum of American History Reopens

The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, often referred to as the "nations attic", reopens in Washington, D.C. tomorrow after a two year long 85 million dollar renovation. Prominently on display is the American flag that flew over Fort McHenry in 1814 during the War of 1812 and was the subject of the poem by Francis Scott Key that later became the "The Star-Spangled Banner", our national anthem. Among the many cultural artifacts on display are Dorothy's ruby slippers from the film the "Wizard of Oz" and Chef Julia Child's kitchen.

A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 8:30 a.m. and the first 1,814 visitors will receive special gifts. The museum will stay open until 7:30 p.m. Friday night.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day

A U.S. Cemetery in France

Today marks the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War, formerly known as the Great War and the War to end all Wars. Although the German Army was still on the battlefield, with the entry of the United States in the war by the fall of 1918 it was only a matter of time until Germany was defeated. Peace talks were opened and an Armistice was signed. On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 the guns on the Western Front of Europe became silent. Four very bloody years of warfare had ended.

It is generally forgotten today but Veterans Day started out as Armistice Day. In 1919 President Woodrow Wilson declared November 11 to be Armistice Day. In 1954 a federal law was passed changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day to honor all of our nations war veterans.

Monday, November 10, 2008

"From the Halls of Montezuma..."

Semper Fidelis

Today marks the 233 anniversary of the birth of the United States Marine Corp. Established on November 10, 1775 the Continental Marines were created during the American Revolution to serve as naval infantry on board the ships of the fledgling Continental Navy. Today the U.S. Marines is still a detachment of the U.S Navy that serves both as a rapid response and as a amphibious assault force. The Marines have fought and served all over the world in minor skirmishes, police actions, as well as all the nations wars.

As the Marine Corp Hymn so proudly states the bulldogs can even be found on patrol guarding the streets of Heaven:

From the halls of Montezuma,
To the shores of Tripoli;
We fight our country's battles
In the air, on land, and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title
Of United States Marine.

Our flag's unfurled to every breeze
From the dawn to setting sun;
We have fought in every clime and place
Where we could take a gun;
In the snow of far-off northern lands
And in sunny tropic scenes;
You will find us always on the job
The United States Marines.

Here's health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve;
In many a strife we've fought for life
And have never lost our nerve;
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes;
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.