NOVEMBER 23, 1950
HYDE PARK, Thursday—We come to Thanksgiving Day this year still under the shadow of anxiety because of the unrest throughout the world. Many people in this country will be sorrowful, either because of the losses of loved ones or because of anxiety for loved ones. Yet in spite of our natural concerns there is much to make the people of the United States thankful in the same spirit that made our first ancestors in this country decide to celebrate Thanksgiving Day when they had only been here for a year and their anxieties were still very great.
This is the day for taking stock of our blessings, for recognizing that we could not face the world and its difficulties alone. But if we give thanks unto a Supreme Being for the help which He has given in the past, and trust in His help for the future, we will somehow find the strength to meet the needs of our day as our ancestors found the strength to meet the needs of their day.
We can be grateful for the fact that our people are constantly becoming more conscious of their responsibility under a democratic form of government.
We can be grateful for the fact that ours is a democracy where the people have more freedom than under any other form of government yet devised by man. We can express our views freely, with very few restrictions. We can meet together without fear. We can worship freely in our churches. We have a legal system devised for the protection of the individual and his rights. It has to be carried out by human beings and therefore there must always be a margin of error possible, but it is designed to bring to our people the maximum of justice.
We have not eliminated want, even in our own country, where the Lord is bounteous to us in natural resources, but we are gradually improving the opportunities that present themselves to all people for leading a decent existence with the essentials available to all men. Though we are constantly conscious of our shortcomings, we must not allow those shortcomings to obscure our gratitude for the manifold achievements that come to all of our citizens regardless of race, creed or color, and that have made life vastly better for a great majority among us in the past years.
For these reasons and many others, let us gather in our churches on this Thanksgiving Day. Let us give thanks to Him from whom cometh our strength. Let us then join in gatherings with our family and friends and give thanks for the love and friendship that binds us together and go forward into another year with greater strength because of our unity.