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.