Thursday, November 22, 2007

Churchill Speaking Thanksgiving Day 1944

From Britain's greatest living historian Martin Gilbert's Churchill and America (Free Press, 2005)

In 1944, as victory came closer, Churchill saw a bolder and brighter future for the Anglo-American relationship than victory alone.

In a speech in London at the Royal Albert Hall on 23 November 1944, in celebration of American Thanksgiving Day, he spoke of how “in three or four year the United States has in sober fact become the greatest military, naval, and air power in the world – that, I say to you in this time of war, is itself a subject for profound thanksgiving”

But he also spoke of “a greater Thanksgiving Day, which still shines ahead, which beckons the bold and loyal and warm-hearted.”

That future Thanksgiving Day would be “when this union of action which has been forced upon us by our common hatred of tyranny, which we have maintained during these dark and dreadful days, shall become a lasting union of sympathy and good-feeling and loyalty and hope between all the British and American peoples, wherever they may dwell. Then, indeed,” Churchill declared, “there will be a Day of Thanksgiving, and one in which all the world will share.” (Forward, p. xxiii)
During the 20th century the Anglo-American alliance led the fight against two of the greatest evils in history: Nazism and Communism.

Today America and Britain are in the forefront of the fight against terrorism.

Let us give thanks for the Anglo-American alliance and for Winston Churchill, who did so much to sustain and strengthen it.