"Standing here at the close of the 19th century -- amid the trophies of thought -- the triumphs of genius -- here under the flag of the Great Republic -- knowing something of the history of man -- here on this day that has been set apart for thanksgiving, I most reverently thank the good men. the good women of the past, I thank the kind fathers, the loving mothers of the savage days. I thank the father who spoke the first gentle word, the mother who first smiled upon her babe. I thank the first true friend. I thank the savages who hunted and fished that they and their babes might live. I thank those who cultivated the ground and changed the forests into farms -- those who built rude homes and watched the faces of their happy children in the glow of fireside flames -- those who domesticated horses, cattle and sheep -- those who invented wheels and looms and taught us to spin and weave -- those who by cultivation changed wild grasses into wheat and corn, changed bitter things to fruit, and worthless weeds to flowers, that sowed within our souls the seeds of art. I thank the poets of the dawn -- the tellers of legends -- the makers of myths -- the singers of joy and grief, of hope and love. I thank the artists who chiseled forms in stone and wrought with light and shade the face of man. I thank the philosophers, the thinkers, who taught us how to use our minds in the great search for truth. I thank the astronomers who explored the heavens, told us the secrets of the stars, the glories of the constellations -- the geologists who found the story of the world in fossil forms, in memoranda kept in ancient rocks, in lines written by waves, by frost and fire -- the anatomists who sought in muscle, nerve and bone for all the mysteries of life -- the chemists who unraveled Nature’s work that they might learn her art -- the physicians who have laid the hand of science on the brow of pain, the hand whose magic touch restores -- the surgeons who have defeated Nature’s self and forced her to preserve the lives of those she labored to destroy. I thank the discoverers of chloroform and ether, the two angels who give to their beloved sleep, and wrap the throbbing brain in the soft robes of dreams. I thank the great inventors -- those who gave us movable type and the press, by means of which great thoughts and all discovered facts are made immortal -- the inventors of engines, of the great ships, of the railways, the cables and telegraphs. I thank the great mechanics, the workers in iron and steel, in wood and stone. I thank the inventors and makers of the numberless things of use and luxury. I thank the industrious men, the loving mothers, the useful women. They are the benefactors of our race. The inventor of pins did a thousand times more good than all the popes and cardinals, the bishops and priests -- than all the clergymen and parsons, exhorters and theologians that ever lived. The inventor of matches did more for the comfort and convenience of mankind than all the founders of religions and the makers of all creeds -- than all malicious monks and selfish saints. [...] I thank the statesmen who have preserved the rights of man. I thank Paine whose genius sowed the seeds of independence in the hearts of ’76. I thank Jefferson whose mighty words for liberty have made the circuit of the globe. [...] I thank the great scientists -- those who have reached the foundation, the bed-rock -- who have built upon facts -- the great scientists, in whose presence theologians look silly and feel malicious [...] I thank the scientists one and all [...] I thank the heroes, the destroyers of prejudice and fear -- the dethroners of savage gods -- the extinguishers of hate’s eternal fire -- the heroes, the breakers of chains -- the founders of free states -- the makers of just laws -- the heroes who fought and fell on countless fields -- the heroes whose dungeons became shrines -- the heroes whose blood made scaffolds sacred -- the heroes, the apostles of reason, the disciples of truth, the soldiers of freedom -- the heroes who held high the holy torch and filled the world with light. With all my heart I thank them all."Amen!
24 November 2011
Giving Thanks ~ Ingersoll's 1897 Epic Sermon!
Thanks to Cynical-C for spotlighting Ingersoll's 1897 epic Thanksgiving Sermon! This is just an excerpt, my favorite parts...