Every school child knows that Thanksgiving's roots extend back to our nation's early colonial history. Fewer may realize that the idea of a National Day of Thanksgiving only dates to the Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed we, as a nation, "set apart and observe the last Thursday of November" as a day of "Thanksgiving and Praise." He suggested that we reflect on the "blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies" and other "bounties which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come." He saw as an integral part of a Thanksgiving prayer the "tender care" of all who "have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers" as a result of war and civil strife. For the great many of us who have so much for which to be thankful, Mr. Lincoln's formulation is tough to beat -- even to this day.