By Betsy Thorpe
Dozens of travelers leave I-40 at Exit 196 everyday, some to visit friends and family, others for fuel, refreshment or lodging. They all have a story to tell and we are here to share a tale or two that we heard at Exit 196.
All week happy holiday travelers, making their way across the country to share a day of national Thanksgiving with loved ones, stopped by Exit 196.
In 1621, following a difficult year the Plymouth Colonists celebrated the first American Thanksgiving. Setting aside a day to commemorate the bountiful fall harvest, the Colonists invited their native neighbors, members of the local Wampanog tribe, to attend the festivities. That first Thanksgiving gathering was celebrated as a traditional English harvest feast.
On October 3, 1789, in New York City, President George Washington issued the following proclamation.
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me `to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.’
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks — for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation, or the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness onto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us — and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
In 1941 the United States Congress passed a joint resolution decreeing that Thanksgiving should fall every year on the fourth Thursday of November, where it remains.
As our various visitors expressed their excitement in the upcoming national Day Of Thanks we shared how thankful we are to be part of this community. At Exit 196 we give thanks for all the good things we witness everyday. We are thankful for the West Side Police Department, they expertly protect us when we are in danger. We are thankful for the ministry outreaches provided by our community’s churches, where congregations such as the Bellevue Church Of Christ work with city wide organizations like” Room At The Inn” to help care for Nashville’s homeless population and others who are in need. We are thankful for the young men and women form our area who answered our country’s call to duty. We pray for their safety . We are thankful and proud that so many military veterans choose to live in our community. We are thankful that we can enjoy nature at its finest by visiting the beautifully preserved Warner Nature Parks. We are grateful to the numerous civic groups that work so hard to better our community, and we are especially thankful for all of our friends and neighbors who visit us everyday and who help make the area surrounding Exit 196 a wonderful place to call home. We wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving and hope everyone will enjoy this special day and take time to give thanks for the good things we are blessed to partake in everyday.