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Thankful that Sarah and Abe gave us Thanksgiving

21 Nov

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

When we think about the origins of Thanksgiving, we seem to always reflect on Pilgrims and Native Americans sitting down to share their harvest in Plymouth sometime after 1620.

But the truth about Thanksgiving  is that the official holiday only dates back to 1863.  True credit for officially creating this most-American of all holidays goes to a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale, and to the 16th President of the United States.

I have incredible admiration and a fascination for Abraham Lincoln, and can’t wait to see the new Speilberg movie. Despite great risk to himself and his legacy, we all know that he ended slavery and saved the Union. But he also gave us a totally worry-free day each year, where we can reflect on all of the wonderful things we have, and share food and good fortune with those we love the most.

Sarah and Abe. They gave us Thanksgiving.

It was during the Civil War, and Hale, a 74-year-old magazine editor wrote a letter to Lincoln on Sept. 28, 1863, to request that the president have “a day of our annual Thanksgiving made a National and fixed Union Festival.”

Until then, Thanksgiving had been an informal regional holiday. Considering the need for something to unite us during a brutal Civil War, Lincoln was moved by Hale’s suggestion to make it a national holiday.

The following is Lincoln’s actual proclamation. And it’s worth reading.

From the Croce family to your family. Happy Thanksgiving!

By the President of the United States of America: A 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.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. 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, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

Disrespectful gesture lands dopey women in hot water

21 Nov

Bet she wishes now that she had just quietly walked past this sign.

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Occasionally, we at EOP like to venture outside the city limits and get a discussion going about some non-Peabody topics, and today is one of those instances.

By now,  since the local news media is blowing this up to be a gigantic story, you’ve probably already seen the incident involving this dopey young women who acted disrespectfully at Arlington National Cemetery.

If not, you can see the entire story here.

Essentially, she was photographed by a friend giving the middle finger and yelling next to a sign by the Tomb of The Unknown Solider that requests visitors remain silent and respectful.  Just 10 years ago, this would have been no story at all,  since this woman would have likely only shown the photo to a small circle of friends. But thanks to her posting it to Facebook, she’s engulfed herself in the midst of a firestorm.

She’s being inundated by media, she’s being chastised by veterans, and there are even people who are calling for her to be fired from her job, since the incident occurred during a work trip to DC.

My thoughts on this? Well, first off I think it’s crazy, but not surprising, that this story is getting so much attention.  I also don’t think she was being deliberately “anti-American” or “anti-veteran.” I just think she was being really stupid and disrespectful, and now is embarrassed beyond belief by her actions. I don’t think she should lose her job, but she does need a swift kick in the butt.

I had to laugh this morning when I heard an equally dopey TV news reporter actually ask her poor dad: “Did your daughter do this as a political statement?” Well, maybe, but only if being a total ass is now considered a “political statement.”

Let me know what you think in the comments section.

Poll: If you were mayor, what would you focus on first?

19 Nov

By Eye on Peabody

So let’s play pretend today, and give you a chance to play Mayor For A Day. Please participate in our poll below, so we can see which issues interest our EOP audience the most.

This post brought to you by “You Make the Call,” Peabody’s longest-running cable show on the issues of the day.

Peabody firefighter helps where help is needed

19 Nov

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

The phrase “off-duty” doesn’t matter when you are a firefighter. The mission is still the same: While everyone else is running away from an emergency. you run towards it.

Such was the case recently with Peabody firefighter David Limongiello, who  wanted to do something for New Yorkers hit by Hurricane Sandy. So, going beyond the call of duty, and volunterring his own time, Limongiello loaded his 20-foot trailer with 3,000 pounds of donated supplies and headed off to help people of the devastated region.

And in a nice, heartwarming twist, turns out that Limongiello ran into firefighters in the New York metro area, who had earlier come to Peabody to pay their respects at the funeral of firefighter Jim Rice last December.

It’s a very nice story, which you can read here in the Salem News.

‘Though I’ve grown old the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe’

18 Nov

We at the Eye love events like this that are geared toward young families. Hats off to the organizers. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for good weather, although some nice, gentle “move-type snow” would be perfect.

Benvenuti, benvenido, bemvindos, bienvenue, fáilte, and … welcome

16 Nov

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

They’ve come. They’ve gone. They’ve informed, enlightened, and even made people cringe. They’ve gone by different monikers. From a guy named Fred, to the Patriot, to Twisted Tanner, and just plain old “Keith.”

The Peabody blogosphere has been up, down, and all around. And now, a new player emerges.

Welcome to my world. Won’t you come on in?

I’ve been a keen observer of past blogs and bloggers here in Peabody, and I have to say that I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly along the way. But in my opinion, the one major missing element has always been a lack of accountability.

Although some of these bloggers past have certainly been entertaining, they haven’t exactly been forthcoming. Well, ladies, gentlemen, and kids of all ages, I’m here to tell you that it’s time throw away all of the masks.

Past bloggers, for reasons known to them only, have created these forums anonymously. In doing so they’ve created some colorful characters and alternative personalities.

But all of that is over. It’s through. I’m the guy behind the keyboard. I’m the one accountable for everything that’s written here, and I hope it’s something that lends more credibility to what I feel could be a very useful and effective forum of ideas, commentary, and … entertainment.

We definitely want to inform with this new blog venture. But come on, folks, let’s also not take ourselves too seriously.

I’m not Fred or the Patriot or the Tanner, or even the Outfront Guy. Welcome to the new Peabody blogosphere, where transparency rules.

Of course, you can still feel free to be anonymous, so let the characters return to post comments that I’m sure will be informative, make you think, and be zany all at the same time.

Welcome to my world. Let me know how I’m doing. Wake the neighbors. Tell the kids.

There’s new blog sheriff in town.