Thanksgiving was first symbolically marked by Pilgrims and Native Americans sitting down together in 1621 to thank God for their survival through a brutal Plymouth winter. It has come to mean so much to our Nation, as family and friends gather to count our many blessings as well as share with those less fortunate among us.
That first American Thanksgiving might seem long ago, but in truth, we are only several generations removed from it. In 1789, President George Washington proclaimed the first National Day of Thanksgiving, and President Abraham Lincoln revived the tradition during the Civil War. Since that time we pause to express thanks for both our bounty of blessings and the freedoms we enjoy, and to spend time with family and friends.
Let’s take this opportunity at Thanksgiving to thank those who are serving today around the world. They are making personal sacrifices to ensure the freedom that we often take for granted.
Likewise, Thanksgiving can also be very dangerous on our roads. Travel to visit family and friends is heavy, making Thanksgiving one of the deadliest holidays in America.
If you are on the road this holiday, please make safety a priority.
Every Thanksgiving, we go through a listing of what we are thankful for. Among other blessings, I am thankful to be part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers team,
delivering for our communities and our nation. I hope that you will find many blessing to count this Thanksgiving too.
From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!
Paul E. Owen, P.E.
Colonel, US Army Corps of Engineers
Commander, Southwestern Division