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Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 OPINION Page 85 grown to the greatest proportion since the It is an opportunity for each of us to extend late 1920s … just before the collapse of our that grace to those around us. A kind word, financial markets and the beginning of the a helping hand, a warm meal to a shut-in, Great Depression. groceries for a hungry family, proper At the same time, the Lincoln called upon the people to clothes to warm cold nation's middle class recognize that, in the midst of tragedy and skin, shelter from the — that great cohort travail, the blessings of life still are easily harsh elements … of prosperity that rose seen, and gratitude for those blessings is a there is so much that up after World War can be done. There is proper response. II — teeters on the so much that must be edge of oblivion. The done. ranks of the poor have swelled to the point that more than a third It is impossible to be thankful for our blessof Americans cannot provide completely for ings when we ignore the struggles of others. In themselves. seeking to alleviate their suffering, we lift up all of humanity. For the greatest praise we can Lincoln called for a Thanksgiving Day because render to a beneficent Creator is emulation. he knew that war and bloodshed were not attributable to our Creator. The blame for Philanthropist W. Clement Stone once all wars rests solely on the shoulders of the observed, "If you are really thankful, what do imperfect creation that is mankind. Lincoln you do? You share." understood that acknowledging the blessings Thanksgiving is not just about giving thanks. that existed in people's lives, and their giving It also is about thankful giving. % thanks for those blessings, was an essential step in coping with the war. More important, it also was an acknowledgement that the LETTERS TO THE EDITOR world was meant to be a better place … and The Sarasota News Leader welwould be again soon. comes letters to the editor from its To heed Lincoln's call in this modern era is to accept that Thanksgiving is a day to recognize and celebrate all that exists in the world to sustain our lives. It is a day to recognize and celebrate the generous spirit of those who give of themselves to help others, not just on holidays but throughout the year. It is a day when we must do more than just acknowledge, "There but for the grace of God go I." readers. Letters should be no more than 300 words in length, and include the name, street address and telephone number of the writer. Letters should be emailed to, with "Letter to the Editor" in the subject line. Letters actually printed will be selected based on space available, subject matter and other factors. We reserve the right to edit any letters submitted for length, grammar, spelling, etc. All letters submitted become the property of The Sarasota News Leader.

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