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Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015 01:23 pm

Saying thanks

 At the risk of sounding like a killjoy, I pass along this suggestion for your next Thanksgiving dinner  from the late Christopher Hitchens, which appeared in a 2005 piece in the Wall Street Journal  in the new posthumous collection of his occasional pieces (And Yet . . . , Simon & Schuster).

Hitchens recalled the origin of the holiday during our civil war:

 As with so many fine things, it results from the granite jaw and the unhypocritical speech of Abraham Lincoln. It seemed to him, as it must have seemed in his composition of the Gettysburg Address, that there ought to be one day that belonged exclusively to all free citizens of a democratic republic. . . . The Union had just been preserved from every kind of hazard and fanaticism: just be grateful. If there were to be any ceremonial or devotional moment at Thanksgiving, and I am sure that I wish that there were not, it still might not kill the spirit of the thing if Lincoln's second inaugural were to be read aloud, or at least printed on a few place mats.

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