November 27, 2013
Did you know that Thanksgiving was declared an annual national event during some of the bleakest days of the Civil War? That’s right, in October of 1863, Lincoln issued a proclamation stating—even though the nation was in the midst of unspeakable turmoil—that crops, mining, and westward expansion had been thriving in a productive, orderly fashion and that foreign relations were strong and peaceful. And so a day of thanksgiving was established.
Way before that, the early settlers and pioneers frequently declared thanksgiving events. What we think of as the First Thanksgiving, held over three days in the Plymouth Colony in 1621, was just one of many “thanksgiving” events celebrated by these people who reportedly faced countless hardships that probably seemed beyond overwhelming to them.
During the American Revolutionary War, Congressmen appointed several “thanksgiving days” each year in their states. The first national proclamation of thanksgiving was given by the Continental Congress in 1777 from its temporary location in York, PA, while the British occupied the capital at Philadelphia.
My point in sharing this history lesson is that giving thanks and gratitude is always a good idea, but it’s even more meaningful in times of change…as we’re experiencing now in the healthcare industry. Although it may seem like we’re in constant turmoil due to federal regulations, diminishing reimbursements and pressure to cut costs, these are the challenges that are creating our opportunities.
I’d like to encourage you to take time over the next couple of days to reflect on all the accomplishments and goodwill you have experienced this year and to find time to say “thank you”.
Our very best wishes to each of you as we celebrate the blessings of freedom and plenty, and the support and warmth of family and friends this Thanksgiving!
Margaret Laub, President and CEO