NOVEMBER 23, 1944
NEW YORK, Wednesday—It is amusing that this year we are having in different states, different days on which we celebrate Thanksgiving. To be sure, in each case it will be on a Thursday. But some states are holding it on the traditional last Thursday in November, the 30th, while other states have decided that that comes too near Christmas, and are celebrating on the 23rd. We, here in New York State, turn our minds to the business of Thanksgiving on the 23rd.
I realize that for many people in the country the thought of any kind of Thanksgiving is bitter beyond words. They have lost their dear ones in a war far from their own shores. Life seems vacant of all interest for them. Perhaps they have other loved ones still in jeopardy. Yet, in spite of all this, as a nation we have much for which to be thankful.
By the grace of God and the courage of our younger generation, we have kept from our own shores the devastation of war. In the whole United States no one is homeless because of enemy attack. We may have great groups of people who have moved from one part of the country to another, but they have done so because they could find more profitable work away from home, and not because the roof had been destroyed over their heads by war or because they had to flee from invading enemy armies.
This mere fact makes it possible for us to have great opportunities in the future. We have strength, we have great industrial and productive resources, both in agriculture and in industry. Our people have developed new skills. We are, on the whole, probably better fed and more physically fit today than we were ten years ago. This is something for which to be devoutly thankful. The opportunity to lead in the world of the future may fill us with a sense of awe, but should give us a great sense of satisfaction.
On us, the people of the United States, does depend whether our feet are set in the paths of peace. If our feet are set in those paths, the rest of the world may follow suit. We must be the example and the torch bearer, however, and we cannot afford to forget it. Everything we do at home will be viewed in the light, not just of its effect at home, but of its effect on other people and on the world situation as a whole.
The Lord has blessed us with great strength and an abundance of material resources. He has given us human resources beyond those enjoyed by most of the world today. This may well be our testing time. If we are thankful for our opportunities, perhaps we may lead into the dreamed of "Better World."