Commonwealth of Massachusetts
His Excellency Governor Deval L. Patrick
Whereas After the first harvest in 1621, the Pilgrims gathered with their neighbors, the Wampanoag Native Americans, broke bread, gave thanks and celebrated their freedom in Plimoth, observing the first Thanksgiving in the American colonies; and
Whereas During the American Revolution in November 1777, the Continental Congress proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving. Samuel Adams, a son of Massachusetts, wrote, “…for solemn thanksgiving and praise, that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor”; and
Whereas With the country torn by a civil war, Abraham Lincoln urged his fellow Americans to gather and give thanks during one of the most difficult times of our nation’s history. Establishing Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1864, Lincoln wrote, “To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God”; and
Whereas In this season of thanks, we should take the time to remember and reach out to our neighbors in need, by providing a helping hand, working in a food pantry or kitchen, donating clothing or volunteering in our communities; and
Whereas Today as families and friends across the Commonwealth and country gather together, may we be mindful of our gifts and talents, our blessings, relationships and goodwill, the peace we enjoy, the liberty we cherish and the hope we have for a joyful year ahead,
Now, Therefore, I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim November 24th, 2011, to be
And urge all the citizens of the Commonwealth to take cognizance of this event and participate fittingly in its observance.
Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston, this fifteenth day of November, in the year two thousand and eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the two hundred and thirty-fifth.
By His Excellency
Deval L. Patrick
Governor of the Commonwealth
William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth
God Save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts