This Thanks-giving Day, please take a moment and read what is written below. My words fall short describing this wonderful holiday, celebrating God and his bounty. We are awash with His blessings. This fact was not lost on our first President, George Washington.

On Oct. 3, 1789, Washington signed the first official presidential proclamation of this great nation. Washington’s proclamation did not smack of government control of Americans; rather, it celebrated the blessings given to us by Almighty God.

This Thanksgiving, let us reflect as a community on Washington’s words. Let us receive God’s blessings and understand this nation was founded by those who realized our rights as humans, as Americans, flow from God, not from government. Let us take this day also as a day of peace and prayer as requested by our first president. May we please understand many people in this world are living under freedom stifling regimes such as Iran, North Korea, China, Venezuela and Cuba just to name a few. These individuals have no right to worship as they wish, and are crushed literally and figuratively when attempts to regain their rights are forcefully refused by these leftist dictators.

Washington’s 1789 ThanksgivingDay Proclamation:

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 PUBLIC THANSGIVING 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 public 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 shown 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.

Art Veneris is production manager of the Brownwood Bulletin. He writes his column for the Brownwood Bulletin on Thursdays. He may be reached by e-mail at art.veneris@brownwood

bulletin.com.