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David W. Maxwell

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Marine Corps Base Quantico 2013 Thanksgiving Guidance and Safety Message

22 Nov 2013 | Col. David W. Maxwell

On Nov. 28, 2013, America will celebrate Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving has its origins in 1621, but it did not become a national holiday until President Abraham Lincoln gave his Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1863 establishing last Thursday of November as a day of thanksgiving.
150 years ago, the nation was fractured, fighting and grieving in the midst of a civil war.  Yet in that period of great testing and tragedy, President Lincoln published his proclamation, recognizing the many blessings our nation and its citizens were endowed with, and calling for his fellow citizens to set apart and observe “a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent father who dwelleth in the Heavens… [and to] commend to His tender care all those who have widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidable engaged…”
Many of us will gather with others to reflect on the past year and that which we are thankful for.  Americans across this great land will give thanks for your service to this country.  It is important that you know your hard work is appreciated and I encourage you to enjoy the holiday with family and friends.
As you prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, I encourage you to reflect on the blessings of the past year, remember those deployed far from home and those families who, through loss, will have and empty chair at their table.
Leaders at all levels should discuss holiday plans with their Marines and Civilian Marines.  Your leadership makes a decisive, life or death difference here at home, just as it does on the battlefield.  I trust each of you will take care of one another and ensure every Marine remains in the fight.
Marines, you are members of an elite fraternity of warriors; your country and your Corps are counting on you to return safely.  Have a great weekend, be safe and stay Semper Fidelis.


                        DAVID W. MAXWELL
                        Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps