November is a great month to reflect on all of the things in life to be thankful for. December can be quite busy and while there is always time to say ‘thanks’, somehow November provides a better backdrop and important dates for me to count my blessings.
Thanksgiving on November 28 this year is one of the oldest holidays in the United States. In Canada it is celebrated in October and there it dates back to the late 1500s! Thanksgiving in the U.S. was an annual custom throughout New England in the 17th century, and in 1777 the Continental Congress declared the first national American Thanksgiving following the Patriot victory at Saratoga. In 1789, President George Washington proclaimed November 26, a Thursday, as a day of national thanksgiving for the U.S. Constitution. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving to officially fall on the last Thursday of November and the holiday was celebrated nationally. He wrote in the proclamation, ‘to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.’
Recounting the history of Thanksgiving reminds me to be thankful that we live in a free country and that we can choose where to live, who to associate with, where to go to school and what work we want to do. Much of this freedom came with a cost, so I am reminded that November 11 is also another day to be grateful. Veterans Day recognizes our citizens who sacrificed their time, some gave their blood from wounds and others still ultimately gave their lives so we could be free and participate in everything this nation has to offer. Veterans Day began in 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I and later in 1938, November 11 became a national holiday. Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans, living or dead, and gives thanks to living veterans who served the country during war or peacetime.
November has other days when we can express our thankfulness and reflect on the good things we have. One is November 19th, which marks the day President Lincoln gave his moving Gettysburg Address 156 years ago in 1863. The other is the first Tuesday in November when we cast our ballots for those running for public office. And, I suppose there are those who are grateful for ‘Black Friday’ when retailers often hold one day sales to kick-start the Christmas shopping season.
I am also grateful for the opportunity to participate in and in some ways help to guide the window film industry. There have been many changes for the better in the industry and in the products made that deliver so many cost-effective benefits to help people to live more comfortably and safer. I hope you have a bountiful and blessed November.