In November 1943, World War II was raging and much about the world was uncertain.
Against that backdrop, O’Fallonite Edna Bell Wright wrote these words for the Gas-Lines, the newspaper of O’Fallon’s Independent Engineering Co. which, among other things, developed portable oxygen generators for the war effort.
“To write something new about Thanksgiving is nearly impossible, but then the object should not be to write something new — but rather to bring the old message in an inspiring way. We should be thankful for the same old blessings — such as our country, our churches, our homes, our schools, our family, food and plenty, for all the freedoms that we in America enjoy.
“These are sort of universal blessings for all Americans.
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“Then each of us as individuals have particular blessings, such as talents and abilities, knowledge, faith, courage, and other powers. Some have more than others, but each should be thankful for what he has — the strong and the weak, the sick and the healthy, the rich and the poor.
“Often it is a greater blessing to be rich spiritually than it is to have material wealth. I, personally, am thankful to know a man who works here who pointed out to me a blessing for which we, as employees of Independent, can particularly be thankful. Our company is occupied in the manufacture of products to be used in war — but the product we make is one to save lives, not to kill. Then, we, as patriots who love her, serve our Country and likewise, we, as Christians serve our God and keep His commandments.
“It is an uplifting thought for us as well as one of the things for which we can give thanks this year. It is good to remember to thank God every day but our world would certainly improve if everyone would remember to give thanks just one day out of every year. Thanksgiving Day, 1943, would be a glorious time to begin.”