Aden's Covid test came back negative yesterday so she will come home this afternoon to celebrate Thanksgiving. In a few minutes I will attempt to thaw my small turkey in solidarity with home chefs across the country. We won't be seeing anyone outside of our immediate family unit, so Zoom calls and cooking rituals will have to take the place of in-person connection.
Our family will change our usual dinnertime grace at the Thanksgiving meal to include the following two prayers. My mother sent uplifting verses from Emerson, which I've included first. The second prayer was recommended by Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times. The "Cadet Prayer" is bracing, fortifying. It raises our awareness and appreciation of the people around the country who are choosing the "harder right instead of the easier wrong." Both leave me feeling grateful for first responders, all healthcare workers, election officials who did their job and stood up to power, and for each of you.
For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
West Point Cadet Prayer
O God, our Father, Thou Searcher of Human hearts, help us to draw near to Thee in sincerity and truth. May our religion be filled with gladness and may our worship of Thee be natural.
Strengthen and increase our admiration for honest dealing and clean thinking, and suffer not our hatred of hypocrisy and pretence ever to diminish. Encourage us in our endeavor to live above the common level of life. Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be content with a half truth when the whole can be won.
Endow us with courage that is born of loyalty to all that is noble and worthy, that scorns to compromise with vice and injustice and knows no fear when truth and right are in jeopardy.
Guard us against flippancy and irreverance in the sacred things of life. Grant us new ties of friendship and new opportunities of service. Kindle our hearts in fellowship with those of a cheerful countenance, and soften our hearts with sympathy for those who sorrow and suffer.
Help us to maintain the honor of the Corps untarnished and unsullied and to show forth in our lives the ideals of West Point in doing our duty to Thee and to our Country.
All of which we ask in the name of the Great Friend and Master of all.