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Thanksgiving short takes: Nov. 22, 2012

Thank you, readers. For 51 years, you have been very, very generous in your support of the Daily Mail's Neediest Cases Appeal, contributing $4,033,507.26 over the years, including $138,107.97 last year.

Every penny of that more than $4 million has gone to filling the needs of those whose stories are published in the Daily Mail over the holiday season as well as to hundreds of other cases than cannot be published.

This year's cases include:

  • A Supplemental Security Income recipient now takes care of a baby removed from the home of a relative by Child Protective Services. The woman needs basic baby items such as diapers and clothes so she can handle this emergency situation.
  • A retired couple on Social Security is now caring for three grandchildren. The family needs need bedding, a wood and coal stove, and a refrigerator. He just suffered a stroke.
  • A mother of two who has a job with a small income has dentures that have broken many times. She has superglued them but they no longer fit her mouth. She needs a new set.
  • A woman with children ages 2 and 4 is trying to make it on her own. She needs a couch, a twin bed, a mattress, a dress, lamps and curtains.

These are needs government programs cannot meet. But readers can and have and will.

Thank you.


AMERICANS have just engaged in a lengthy

argument over which direction the nation should take. But even those of us on the side that fell a few million votes short of a majority nationally must agree that today is a day to thank providence once again for the privilege of being Americans.

Our blessings are many. Let us count them.

  • 64.3 million people volunteered to work with at least one organization last year, giving the nation a volunteer rate of 26.8 percent.
  • 143 million people had jobs in October, giving the nation an employment rate of 92.1 percent.
  • 61 percent of workers reported that they were satisfied with their jobs overall, according to a poll by
  • 72 percent are satisfied with their personal financial situations, according to the Pew Research Center.

We have a great nation that is built on rights endowed to us by our creator. Among these rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

These rights are not a guarantee of happiness, but rather a right to pursue it in ways that are unique to each of us.

For that we should be grateful.


The Pilgrims are often credited with holding the first Thanksgiving in 1621. President George Washington signed the Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789.

But President Abraham Lincoln deserves credit for making the fourth Thursday in November the national holiday we now enjoy.

At the height of the Civil War, in September 1863, Lincoln issued a proclamation that declared Nov. 28, 1863, to be Thanksgiving. He noted the many changes and the growth of a nation even at a time when it was at war with itself.

"No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any

mortal hand worked out these great things," Lincoln wrote. "They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy."

A nation that in the midst of war still remembers its blessings is a very great nation.


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