Two of the most American holidays occur in November: Thanksgiving and Veterans Day. On the former we thank God for the blessings He has provided us, not the least of which is our great country and the foundational elements which make it so unique. On the latter we thank the soldiers, sailors, and airmen who have served our country in the military, putting their lives on hold temporarily or permanently, and spending those holidays away from family in distant lands. We were lucky enough to celebrate and give thanks with family this year, but it’s important to acknowledge those who aren’t able to do so.
In years past, both of these holidays would touch nearly every American family in a truly personal way. So many of us had fathers or grandfathers who served, and the vast majority of them gave God His due every November if not every day. The generations who survived the Great Depression and fought to defend our freedoms are now almost entirely gone, but their legacies of service and gratitude are timeless. Much like the pilgrims on that first Thanksgiving, many of these great men and women were thankful in face of great trials and tribulations.
However, there is much truth in the aphorism that great men bring good times, good times bring weak men, and weak men bring bad times. Some might say we are in one of those bad times, in particular when one views the state of the world and the dark clouds of war which seem to be closer now than they have been in some time. Fewer Americans serve, and belief in and gratitude to God continue to diminish. Thanksgiving has devolved into an ambiguous celebration of the time of year with a vague sense of saying thank you to somebody for something, a far cry from the clear directive Lincoln gave the country in 1863 when he proclaimed it as a national holiday.
We don’t know what the future holds, but we do know and should acknowledge the good in the past and present. This is a uniting principle between Thanksgiving and Veterans Day. We should also remember that even when times seem dark, there are still always people and circumstances worthy of thanks.
One of those people we’d like to thank is veteran Fr. Andrew DeSilva. He is a former army chaplain who has been a recipient of shipments of Verso l’alto coffee, many of which he has shared with his fellow service members in distant lands away from their own families. In an upcoming post, we are excited to hear from him on his experience with his military chaplain service, faith, the holidays, and the American unifier: coffee!
Whether you celebrated the all-American holidays with friends and families or soldiered on on your own, we hope Verso l’alto was part of your coffee experience and will continue to be so.
We are also thankful to each of you who has made Verso l’alto Coffee Roasters a part of your holidays and coffee moments. Today marks our 3rd anniversary, and we are excited to see what the future brings.
All current or former military members ordering for themselves or their families between now and 12/8 are eligible for 25% off their orders under the code VETERANS25.
In closing, we wanted to share an excerpt from Lincoln’s ageless Thanksgiving Day Address:
“It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.”