Today Veterans Help Group proudly gave over 100 free Thanksgiving turkeys to veterans in Marion, Indiana. This is part of a tradition which began last year when Veterans Help Group thanked local veterans in Marion for their service in the same way. Our intent is to recognize veterans for their service and invite everyone to do the same.
The History of Thanksgiving Day and Veterans
In 1863, while beleaguered by the Civil War, President Lincoln proclaimed that Thanksgiving Day would be the fourth Thursday in November. The Proclamation stated, in part,
[n]eedful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.
Despite the current deployment of combat and support troops around the world to fight terrorism — like the “needful diversion of wealth and strength” to the national defense during the Civil War — we can express our gratitude to veterans and extend our thanks to them because the country “is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.” Happy Thanksgiving, and thanks to all veterans.