Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving 2016’

Celebrating Our National Gratitude Day

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

Written by Tony Mussari, Sr.
Edited by Kitch Loftus-Mussari
Copyright 2016
The Face of America Project
Mussari-Loftus Associates, LTD  

To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven. Johannes A. Gaertner


While doing research for a speech to the Back Mountain Men’s Ecumenical Club, I came across a PowerPoint presentation Kitch and I flower-typefcdesigned about gratitude. It began with a beautiful picture from our garden. It ended with summary of George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation:

Acknowledge His Providence…

Be grateful for his benefits…

Establish a Day of Thanksgiving
and prayer…

Show our grateful hearts for His
favors and our government.

In 1863, 74 years later, President Abraham Lincoln established Thanksgiving Day as a national holiday. He ended his proclamation with these words:

I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings… they do also fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.

On this, our national day of gratitude, we thought it would be appropriate to share some the highlights from this presentation. We are doing this to offer encouragement and hope during these challenging times.

Gratitude Defined


Those in the know define gratitude with one word, Thankfulness.

Angeles Arrien, the author of Living in Gratitude: A Journey That Will Change Your Life, believed that blessings, learnings, mercies, and protections are the four portals to a grateful heart.

She shared this important point with her readers:

The practice of gratitude bestows many benefits, anger, arrogance, and jealousy melt in its embrace. Fear and defensiveness dissolve. Gratitude diminishes barriers to love and evokes happiness.

Gratitude Examples

So what is this emancipating virtue called gratitude? These are some examples.

It could be a drawing like the one that came straight from the heart of an elementary school student.

This particular expression of gratitude was tacked on a bulletin board in a classroom in a school just a few blocks from the site of the 911 attack on New York city.

The words and the image speak to gratitude and its power of healing.

Thank you to the policemen and the firemen for trying to rescue the people. Thank you to the rescue dogs. Love Emma.


This may surprise you, but gratitude may be a song.

Affectionate Gratitude was written by a Sister of Charity in 1881.

It is preserved in the Library of Congress collection Music for the Nation.

Equally surprising, gratitude can be a boxcar. Yes, you read it correctly.

In 1949, the French government sent a very special gift to the peoplegratitude-boxcar of the United States. It was called the Merci (Gratitude) Train.

It is a unique symbol of gratitude for the $40 million in relief supplies Americans gave to war-torn France and Italy in 1947. The supplies were carried in a 700-car train appropriately named the Friendship Food Train.

Recently, Kitch and I had the opportunity to see one of those Gratitude box cars at Fort Indiantown Gap.

What a moment!

The Virtues of Gratitude


Gratitude is an attitude that is deeply rooted in kindness.

Gratitude permeates every aspect one’s life. One never misses an opportunity be kind and say thank you. Our friend Helene Bigiarelli clearly defined the connection between gratitude and kindness:

To receive kindness and understanding from my neighbors and friends, I have to be kind and understanding to them.

There is a mystical connection between gratitude and joy.


Amanda Gore, a popular motivational speaker and author, explained that connection with this beautiful thought:

Gratitude is the foundation for joy. That’s the secret! Until you find and live with gratitude and appreciation, you will never find joy.

Gratitude makes us more mindful and it helps to control the most divisive modern-day disease of “Mefulness.”

The celebrated author of Our Town, explained this important insight when he wrote these profound words:

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. Thornton Wilder

Gratitude is speaking kindly about someone who is angry with you. When your day revolves around being grateful, it is impossible to be depressed.

Expressing Gratitude

Sometimes the best way to express gratitude is in an old-fashioned, handwritten note to a friend or a loved one.

I was blessed to receive a priceless note this morning:

On this Thanksgiving, we’re facing a big medical challenge, but as with all the others, we hold hands and move through it. The sun will be shining on the other side. I’m by your side, and I thank you on this special day for all your love, kindness, and understanding.
I love you dearly,


I can think of no better way to end this article about Thanksgiving than to share a quote from William Arthur Ward:


God gave you a gift of 84,600 seconds today. Have you used one of them to say thank you?

We hope your Thanksgiving Day was blessed with peace, love and the joy of community with family and friends. May we all renew the Thanksgiving plea of our greatest American President Abraham Lincoln that our county is blessed with peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.

God bless you for taking the time to read this article, and God bless America.

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