On this day of Thanksgiving, we remember the stories of Pilgrims and the American Indians who came to their aid and know that Thanksgiving has been proclaimed and celebrated in many forms since. Following is an excerpt from George Washington's proclamation of Thanksgiving in 1789 and a prayer of thanksgiving from the Iroquois Tribe.
"... Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th 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 favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled 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 favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us. ..."
— President George Washington, Oct. 3, 1789
We return thanks to our mother, the earth, which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams which supply us with water.
We return thanks to all herbs, which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the corn, and to her sisters, the beans and squashes, which give us life.
We return thanks to the bushes and trees, which provide us with fruit.
We return thanks to the wind, which, moving the air, has banished diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and the stars, which have given us their light when the sun was gone.
We return thanks to our grandfather He-no, that he has protected his grandchildren from witches and reptiles, and has given us his rain.
We return thanks to the sun, that he has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit, in whom is embodied all goodness, and who directs all things for the good of his children.
— Iroquois tribal prayer