After the 2016 election, America seems to be increasingly divided. With social, economic, and political issues coming to a head across the country, it is hard to feel as though our 50 states are truly united in anything other than name. On this day, 153 years ago, however, President Abraham Lincoln addressed the nation with this Thanksgiving proclamation: A message of hope, one we could all use today.
152 Thanksgivings. That’s how many our country has celebrated since the holiday’s national recognition. During that time, our armed forces have fought in numerous wars and conflicts, and many service members have spent Thanksgiving Day deployed in foreign countries or behind enemy lines. Despite huge nutritional and logistical challenges, the spirit of Thanksgiving has been alive and well in the armed forces for over a century. Here’s seven things you probably didn’t know about Thanksgiving and the military: