The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has 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. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, 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. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and 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.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.
Rutgers University Professor David Greenberg delivered an icy review of Chris Matthews’s new Tip and the Gipper book in Friday’s New York Times, Save Jerseyans.
Liberal on liberal violence is something to behold; here’s an illustrative sample:
“Most important, Matthews provides no evidence to suggest that whatever personal amicability O’Neill and Reagan maintained mattered. In one or two cases, the Democrats cut good deals with Reagan, such as when they revised the Social Security program. But on the key legislative issue of Reagan’s presidency — the 1981 fight over his budget, which slashed taxes on the rich — O’Neill simply got rolled. Spooked by the president’s popularity, which surged after he was shot by John Hinckley in March of that year, O’Neill failed to compete with Reagan in the new age of media politics. Worse, he also came up short in his supposed strong suit — riding herd on his caucus — as scores of Democrats, fearing the tax-cutting bandwagon, defected to back the Reagan bill. The consequences — skyrocketing budget deficits and debilitating inequality — have plagued us ever since.”
Fifty years ago this morning, men still wore crewcuts, hats and narrow ties. Women’s fashions were decided by whatever Jackie Kennedy wore. The number one song was a whiny ballad called “I’m Leaving It Up To You” by Dale and Grace, pretty typical of what passed for pop music in 1963.
That morning, CBS News aired a somewhat cynical five-minute report about four mop-topped British musicians and their very different musical sound.
Alexander Kendrick’s story was supposed to be aired again that night, but the Kennedy assassination and funeral dominated the news through the weekend and into what that year turned out to be a very solemn Thanksgiving holiday. It wasn’t until the story aired again on December 10th that people took notice.
That evening, 15-year old Marsha Albert wrote WWDC DJ Carroll James asking “Why can’t we have music like this in America?” James, having seen the same report, got a BOAC flight attendant to bring back a single of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and played it a week later. The period of mourning was over. The world would never be the same again.
When we teach public speaking, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is one of the first things we teach.
Because it contains all of the essential elements of a great speech:
1) It has a clear central theme — a central idea: That it falls to the living to honor those who have died for freedom and to keep the promise of freedom alive now and nourish it for future generations.
2) It also has a clear purpose: To remind us of the sacrifice of others in the name of freedom and commit us to its perpetuation and the preservation of our nation’s ideals.
3) The speech is simply organized with a beginning that makes a vital link with its audience (Four score and seven years ago, our fathers . . . ) a substantial mid section containing its core message and a strong conclusion (. . . that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth).
4) Finally, the speech is brief and to the point. It’s remarkably efficient.
It’s that time of year again, Save Jerseyans, whether you’re ready for it or not.
Holiday commercials are running on TV, Christmas tree lot signs are springing up around town, the retail stores are hanging festive decorations and your local soft rock radio station is threatening to begin looping “All I Want for Christmas” 24/7 a full 1 1/2 weeks before Thanksgiving.
Welcome to the Holiday Season, 2013 edition.
The modern American Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a very public debate over whether there’s a “War on Christmas” afoot. It’s one theater of the larger “culture war” that’s been waged in our country, in varying degrees of intensity, since the 1960′s. Amazingly, just to show you how contentious it can get, the combatants can’t even stipulate whether the “war” even exists or if it’s simply a figment of conservative talk show hosts’ very active imaginations. It’s certainly real enough to generate a healthy profit; Sarah Palin is helping stir the pot with her new book, Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas, which comes complete with a “Christmoose Chili” recipe. Yummy.
My take? Yes, Virginia, there is a sector of our society that is radically secular and would like to see all religion – but particularly Christianity – erased from the public square. I’d nevertheless like to clear up a few key misconceptions before the sugar plums and fairies get carried away and ruin another perfectly good season…
Photographer’s Mate 2nd class Joseph Sharp aboard the USS Forrestal in 1978
On Veterans’ Day, we honor all the men and women who have protected our country and fought for our way of life.
Today, I would like to especially thank the Vets of the post-Viet Nam era.
One of my most vivid memories from growing up in the 1960′s and 1970′s was watching Mr. Hayes, a tough man and a Vet in my neighborhood, balling his eyes out as his eldest son went off to Viet Nam. His son came home two years later, but he was different. There was no parade, as the war was still on and increasingly controversial. The younger Hayes was angry and seemingly damaged.
With pictures of casualties on the evening news every night, news of William Calley’s My Lai Massacre trial, the Kent State shootings and protests throughout the country, and witnessing how veterans of Viet Nam had come home changed, military service and the draft was feared by many. Young men went to college, got married and had children or fled to Canada to avoid being drafted into the war.
Some of you remembered that today (Monday, November 11th) is Veterans Day without prompting, Save Jerseyans, but most of you who remembered did so only because you’re off from work. Even fewer of you know much at all about this holiday’s true origins.
Not good! But your error is correctable. Take a few minutes to acquaint yourselves with the relevant history:
Highlands Mayor Frank Nolan, Jets owner Woody Johnson, and Douglas Eagles, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Monmouth County.
The NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation announced yesterday that they are awarding $1.5 million to New Jersey youth serving agencies for repairs to recreational facilities and equipment that were damaged by Superstorm Sandy.
The announcement took place at the headquarters of the Puerto Rican Association for Human Development in Perth Amboy, in a play room that has recently been renovated with the first $100 thousand distributed of the $1.5 million dollar grant.