Our Challenge at Thanksgiving

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Tomorrow is National Thanksgiving Day, which is to be observed as a national holiday. Observation of the day goes back to 1883 when the National Legislature proclaimed the first Thursday in November as a day of thanksgiving to God for preserving the nation in the face of steep challenges from colonial powers seeking to undermine the territorial integrity of Liberia.

Over the years since, it has been observed and celebrated as a day of worship and praise to God for his bountiful blessings bestowed upon the nation. All shops, stores and other places of commerce are expected to be closed in keeping with a Presidential Proclamation declaring the day a national holiday.

For us at the Daily Observer, the day is also for deep reflection and introspection on from how far we have come, where we intend to go and the road map which will take us there. We are reminded in the scriptures in Psalm 107:1 “O give thanks to the Lord for he is good, and his love and mercy endures forever”.

As we give thanks let us reflect on the trials and vicissitudes faced by the founding fathers of this nation and their bequest to us of 43,000 square miles of land richly endowed with a host of valuable resources.
Let us also reflect on the immeasurable harm we have wrought upon ourselves by our inordinate greed and selfishness that has left the nation virtually groping in the dark to find its footing.

Indeed, we have so much for which to give thanks to God. We must thank God for the peace we currently enjoy, no matter how tenuous it may be and above all thank him for giving us a new generation born in peace, knowing nothing about war and its attendant horrors.

We must also thank God for our neighbors in ECOWAS who came to our rescue in times of acute distress, paying the ultimate sacrifice to help save us from ourselves. We must also thank the broader international community, especially our traditional ally, the United States of America for the support provided to help sustain peace in Liberia as well as for development assistance.

We must also thank ourselves for maintaining the peace in the face of difficult challenges, for remaining steadfast for choosing the law over violence, especially during the recent electoral process. But as we give thanks to God, let us deeply reflect on the nation’s future. We can consider ourselves lucky for the inheritance from our founding fathers but, how are we treating such good fortune is what we need to ponder. This is important because as it appears, the nation is like a rudderless ship cast upon a billowy sea. Critical issues of national concern are either treated with benign concern or with knee-jerk responses intended to placate rather than to resolve.

It goes without saying that those chosen to lead the people into the future must be possessed of qualities of honesty, diligence and strength of character. Sadly, the converse has been true as those chosen to lead over the years have preoccupied themselves with amassing wealth with little or benign concerns for the well-being of the people they profess to lead.

And so as we observe another Thanksgiving, we must remain mindful of the obligation imposed on us to bequeath to our children a nation for which they can offer thanks and praises to God, for what we bequeath to them. Are we going to bequeath to them a legacy and culture of corruption and impunity, which is sure to endanger their future? This is our challenge to which we must provide answers, for time is not on our side. The tides are fast rising and, should we not find a firm footing, we may likely find ourselves washed away by the ebbing tides of history.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Some of us aren’t amazed that even while heralding Thanksgiving Day, the haughty tone of a hectoring misleading editorial sounds unmistakble. That the arriving brethren created myths about themselves doesn’t mean two centuries later a journalist who ought to find out truth and educate our public about
    events and issues that affect their lives – Thanksgiving Day, for example – should continue peddling false narratives though their falsity isn’t arguable.

    For instance, Liberia’s proclamation of first Thursday November for observance of the day starting 1863 was simply solidarity with President Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation of Thanksgiving Day on the last Thursday of November 1863 during the American Civil War over slavery. Of course, the Liberian Oligarchy was right to follow suit; after all, they had arrived in 1821 on Cape Monteserado in the Grain Coast and just 26 yrs later (1847) unilaterally declared independence and named the place Liberia.

    So it makes one to ponder why this wild claim of a “bequest of 43,000 square miles of land richly endowed with a lot of valuable resources” by a group of scared people whose destination was actually Freetown, a British colony that had already received former slaves from America (Cuffey’s group), Nova Scotia in Canada, England, and the Carribean. Moreover, as far as the natives in the Grain Coast were concerned it eventually made no difference whether the colonialists were Blacks or Whites: Both equally exploited them and expropriated their lands.

    This is why reconciliation shouldn’t be tied solely to the civil war, obviously, an issue that must be frontally
    addressed. For example, how should one assess this rhetoric of a “ruderless ship” by elites that not only carried on their heads the departing captain whose reckless steering caused the ship to almost sink, but are also allegedly inciting mutiny before the new captain could get his bearing. Stop misleading readers with partisan rant, we hear a lot on US Cable News and Facebook videos 24/7 – Happy thanksgiving Day!

  2. He is not misleading people in anyway shape or form.Alright, let’s say Thanksgiving started in 1863 as according to you, in solidarity with Abe Lincoln does it matter? Our forebears didn’t create myths about themselves, and they were not. scared people. They were offered a deal, which they accepted.I believe they were courageous people who bequeathed to us 43000 miles as aforesaid. Actually,our ancestors started settlement in that area since 1816.. When America decided to grant freedom to these people,their first choice was Haiti,not Sierra Leone but decided later that it was too close for comfort. So ,they (Francis Scott Key who was a nephew of George Washington and the AC’S decided to go back to Africa and purchase that land.If the chiefs sold the land to these people -Americans,what’s the problem?Are you calling them thieves for giving you and me a home? Who should be angry over this Liberia issue? The chiefs /kings whatever the title was, were the ones who sold the poor people and their children as slaves. They didn’t sell their own children.So who should be mad/angry? I see why Liberia continues to sleep!Sleep on Liberia until we learn to be grateful. Happy thanksgiving

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