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Obama’s Presidential Proclamation – Armed Forces Day, 2012

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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION

With every assignment and in every theater, America’s men and women in uniform perform their duties with the utmost dignity, honor, and professionalism. Through their dauntless courage and dedication, they live up to our Nation’s highest ideals in even the most perilous circumstances. On Armed Forces Day, we pay tribute to the unparalleled service of our Armed Forces and recall the extraordinary feats they accomplish in defense of our Nation.

As individuals, our service members set extraordinary examples of character for those whose freedom they protect. Together, they comprise the greatest force for freedom and security the world has ever known. From their earliest training to the thick of battle, they look to those with whom they stand shoulder-to-shoulder, knowing they rise and fall as one team. United in their love of country, they teach us the true meaning of words like duty, honor, and strength.

Not just leaders and troops, patriots and heroes, the members of our Armed Forces are also parents, spouses, partners, sons, and daughters. Their families are just as vital to their success as their brothers and sisters in arms, and our debt of gratitude extends to them as well. As we celebrate the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who make our way of life possible, we also pay our deepest respect to their families, our missing, our wounded, and our fallen. Inspired by their service and humbled by their sacrifice, let us recommit to providing all those who have served our Nation the support they deserve.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, continuing the precedent of my predecessors in office, do hereby proclaim the third Saturday of each May as Armed Forces Day.

I direct the Secretary of Defense on behalf of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, and the Secretary of Homeland Security on behalf of the Coast Guard, to plan for appropriate observances each year, with the Secretary of Defense responsible for encouraging the participation and cooperation of civil authorities and private citizens.

I invite the Governors of the States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and other areas subject to the jurisdiction of the

United States, to provide for the observance of Armed Forces Day within their jurisdiction each year in an appropriate manner designed to increase public understanding and appreciation of the Armed Forces of the United States. I also invite veterans, civic leaders, and organizations to join in the observance of Armed Forces Day.

Finally, I call upon all Americans to display the flag of the United States at their homes on Armed Forces Day, and I urge citizens to learn more about military service by attending and participating in the local observances of the day. I also encourage Americans to volunteer at organizations that provide support to our troops.

Proclamation 8681 of May 20, 2011, is hereby superseded.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this

eighteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.

BARACK OBAMA

Happy Thanksgiving from CDN and George Washington

It is very easy to get caught up in the travesties of justice, mocking of our nation and insults to her people emanating from our own centers of government and the leaders within. It would not take long consideration to find many reasons for which we could ask the question, “what the heck do we have to be thankful for?”

It also takes very little time to answer that question. Most of all, I am thankful that I have the opportunities and freedoms present simply because I live in America – the greatest nation on Earth.

I am eternally grateful to have a wonderful, loving and supportive wife and family. Without whom all things would be much more difficult and of much less consequence.

I am incredibly thankful for the wealth of talent that has coalesced around the cause of freedom  to bring CDNews to where it is today and the fantastic possibilities presented for its continued success. The leadership team of Michelle Ray, Cindi Appleberry and A.F. Branco make CDN possible. Kira Davis, AiPolitics, Nicole Pearce are the staff members that help get it done. The 40+ contributors that think about, investigate and opine on CDN are the foundation. Without each and every one of them – CDN would still be a lonely personal blog with a few hundred visits a day (you can see them all HERE).

I am, without reservation, thankful for you – our readers, twitter followers, facebook fans, and google+ encircled people (really google.. circles?). You challenge us with your replies, comments and those sometimes #headdesk-causing letters to the editor. I value even those I disagree with in the hopes of beneficial discussion and debate.

Please accept a humble Thank You from all of the staff, contributors and myself. We wish you and your families a warm, festive, family-filled Thanksgiving day.

In closing, Michelle reminded me of the proclamation that gave us this day of thanks. I find it a great proof of the foundation from which all great things in this nation have come from.

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor– and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

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 favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquility, 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 hath been pleased to confer upon us.

and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions– to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington

Turn Away from Ungratefulness Toward Prosperity

An ungrateful heart leads to bitterness and failure. Our Founding Fathers understood this.  They also understood that America and the hope she offers were no accident.  They believed that Divine Providence was responsible for the formation of a country where freedom and individual responsibility were valued and rewarded above all else.  In the very first Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation, President George Washington declared Americans must give thanks “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” and also “that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions”

In his Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1863, the first of a now unbroken string of Presidential Proclamations, Abraham Lincoln said: “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.”

Both of these great men understood the importance of a grateful heart.  It is gratefulness that allows us to acknowledge the blessings around us.  It is gratefulness that encourages us to stop for a moment and take account of the grace and blessings that have been bestowed upon us by our Almighty Creator.  It is gratefulness that prevents our hearts from turning to stone and rendering us incapable of compassion and progress.  Our ancestors felt so strongly about this that they saw fit to declare a national day of thanks, when we as citizens would join in one voice and sentiment to express gratefulness. However, these great men did not believe giving thanks as a nation was enough in and of itself. They felt  along with thanksgiving should come repentance.  Both Lincoln and Washington recognized that thanksgiving without self-examination was useless.  They called for national repentance as well. For those of you who don’t quite understand what repentance is, Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines it as “repent” as “to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life; to feel regret or contrition; to change one’s mind”.  Lincoln and Washington had both just led the nation through revolutionary and civil war.  They understood the importance of being grateful for the fine nation that resulted in both wars, but they also knew that much pain had been wrought upon the American people throughout.  They knew that in order to move forward not only did Americans need to thank, they also needed to forgive.

As we approach another Thanksgiving in this great country I wonder if we have forgotten how to be thankful as a nation.  Our cities are currently being overrun by the most ungrateful of citizens.  Unlike the tea party protests, Occupiers across the nation have not publicly declared one second of gratefulness or appreciation for all America has offered and continues to offer by way of comfort and security.  Their ungratefulness has exposed the hardest of hearts among these protesters. We have seen violent deaths, sexual assaults, batteries, cursing, yelling, vandalism, throwing of bodily fluids and a complete disregard for the welfare of average, working Americans and their property.  We have managed to raise an entire generation of ungrateful children and our nation is paying dearly for that.  Our children are throwing a temper tantrum.  Their ungrateful hearts (and many of ours) have turned to stone and the rest of us are witnessing the results, not only in their protests, but in the economy and general welfare of the country.  Perhaps its time to step back on this most uniquely American holiday and reflect on our hearts.  We have our troubles but we sill have so much to be thankful for when we look at the rest of the world.   We are free, and despite our many problems that is a special gift.  But we cannot end there.  Alongside our thankfulness this season let us remember the divisions that have always plagued us, and let us repent.  Let us recognize that we are all sinners; we have all hurt someone at some point.  We have wandered from our founding principles and God-given mandates.  We have come to believe we deserve all of our blessings.  We must turn away from that sense of entitlement, recognize it for the sin that it is, and move forward with grateful hearts.

I am no fool.  I know that there are many (far too many) Americans who see nothing wrong with wanting more while giving nothing.  There are many reading this right now who scoff at the idea that they need to apologize or ask forgiveness for anything.  But for those of us who see value in the idea of thankful repentance, our Founding Fathers saw fit to establish a national day of Thanksgiving.  They saw fit to give us the choice to be heard as a nation, to stand together, if only for one day.  Lets not waste that day and what it represents.  This Thanksgiving lets make the choice, as a nation, to turn  and say thank you; turn to our neighbors and say forgive me; turn to our God and say we repent – we turn away from ungratefulness of the past and toward the bounty of a thankful America.