This is Thanksgiving week in the U.S., often a time for Thanksgiving devotions. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday because it’s always been the least commercialized of our major holidays. I love the time with family and friends, the great food, and the opportunity to reflect on the blessings of my life.

This year, I’d like to share a special video with you. For our friends outside the US who aren’t familiar with Mister Rogers, he was a television personality who focused on helping children. He treated children with tremendous respect and was often an advocate for children. Rogers was honored with numerous awards, including four Daytime Emmy Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997 from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002. This is a video of his acceptance speech for his Lifetime Achievement award. Although he didn’t intend it as such, this is one of the great Thanksgiving devotions of all time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Transcript

“Ladies and gentlemen, the best neighbor any of us has ever had, Fred Rogers.
[Applause]
For giving generation upon generation of children confidence in themselves for being their friend for telling them again and again and again that they are special and that they have worth it is my honor on behalf of everyone here and on behalf of the millions of children whose mornings you have brightened with your kindness to present you with this Lifetime Achievement Award.”

“Oh, it’s a beautiful night in this neighborhood. So many people have helped me to come to this night some of you are here some are far away some are even in heaven. All of us have special ones who have loved us into being would you just take along with me ten seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are; those who have cared about you and wanted what was best for you in life. 10 seconds of silence, I’ll watch the time.

[Pause]

Whomever you’ve been thinking about, how pleased they must be to know the difference you feel they’ve made. You know they’re the kind of people television does well to offer our world. Special thanks to my family and friends and to my co-workers in public broadcasting, Family Communications, and this Academy for encouraging me allowing me all these years to be your neighbor. May God be with you.”

Please know that I’m very thankful for you.

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