Sunrise on the Beach Road in Kitty Hawk. Something to be thankful for.

Thanksgiving is a magnificent holiday. It’s primary requirement is to be with family and friends, eat lots of wonderful food and create fresh memories.

And that is something to be thankful for.

Beyond the ease with which we can enjoy Thanksgiving there is also a profound meaning—a moment to pause and remember how important those things that give quality to our lives truly are.

Certainly family for most of us. Living on the Outer Banks, we can say that it is an experience filled with the beauty of nature, wonderful people and a generous community and that is something to be truly grateful for.

Beyond that, the reasons to give thanks are many and personal. In that sense, it is a uniquely American holiday, one that we celebrate together, yet each of us decides for ourselves what it means.

It is one of our older holidays—declared a national holiday by President Lincoln in 1863 during some of the darkest days of the Civil War. What he wrote in his proclamation is as relevant today as it was when he penned it. What he understood was in acknowledging our blessings we create hope and the belief in a better world, a thought that continues to resonate today.

The beginning of President Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation:

“The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. 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.”