My plan for today is to go comatose in front of the television – I hope your day is just as joyous.
Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation is interesting reading: it is very difficult to conceive how anyone in the US could have been in a celebrating mood in 1863. The question is, what is the relation between Providence and the nation? He openly says the nation is being punished for its “sins.” The goods in the first paragraph which seem pettier, i.e. border expansion, population increase, seem to point to the hope for “peace, harmony, tranquility, and Union” mentioned near the end. I suspect a call to a higher notion of justice is implicit in the proclamation, which is post-Gettysburg, post-Emancipation Proclamation: the domestic production, the fact life is going on in the Union despite the Civil War, divorces this country from martial virtue and its attendant notions. “Sins” indicates a still greater concern.