Remembering World Gratitude Day Founder, Edna Fuerth Lemle, 2011 Apr 17

Filed under 2 or more | americas | MG Members in other events | Thanksgiving - Gratitude | Thoughts from the UN community. | Tributes and Expressions of appreciation

Edna Fuerth Lemle (April 11,1916–April 17, 2011) was the driving inspiration behind the beginning of World Gratitude Day in 1965.

In 1977 her World gratitude organizations honured Sri Chinmoy, leader of the Peace Meditation Group at the UN. The spirit behind World Gratitude was fully embraced by Sri Chinmoy and the Members of the Meditation Group.

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On receiving the award Sri Chinmoy said:

“I am extremely grateful to you, Mrs. Lemle, for you are opening a new chapter in humanity’s evolution. The world is in the process of evolution. You know the utmost significance of gratitude, and the awakened soul in you is awakening others. Gratitude is man’s conscious oneness with his Beloved Supreme. I am sure that your soul has felt this supreme oneness with the Beloved Supreme and your soul has come to the fore to urge your illumined mind to offer this loftiest message to the world at large.

Gratitude in the inner world is nothing but self expansion. It is through self-expansion that we become aware of our true reality, which is Infinity itself. Your contribution to the world at large, to the inner world especially, is momentous. As a seeker, I know that there is nothing on earth as valuable and significant as gratitude. In God’s Eye. there is nothing more meaningful and precious than man’s gratitude. Therefore, to you, to the illumining soul in you, I wish to offer my boundless and ever-growing gratitude.”


A special song was composed by Sri Chinmoy “World Gratitude Day” and performed by the Peace Meditation at the UN Choir. Over the years, they also participated on a number of occasions at the World Gratitude headquarters in NY at the special request of  Mrs.  Leme.

See links below to World gratitude day Celebrations in 1977 and the remarks of Mrs. Leme and Sri chinmoy.

Mrs Lemle died in 2011 6 days after her 95th Birthday.

See a moving tribute by her son Mickey Lemle on jan 03, 2012 at

pdf copy of text: 2012-01-jan-03-eulogy-for-mother-micky-lemle

Included there is also an earlier piece from the New Yorker of  1984-oct-08 about World Gratitude Day and Mrs. Lemle’s role in its creation.


The New Yorker Magazine of 8 October 1984 noted

“World Gratitude Day, recognized by proclamation in thirty eight States and two countries, falls each year at the time of the autumnal equinox and serves as a sort of secular, global Thanksgiving. In fact Mrs. In fact, Mrs. Lemle got the idea at a reception she attended at the United Nations in 1963 a few days before Thanksgiving. She asked the Ambassador from Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, if his countrymen would join in Thanksgiving, and he said he did not think his people would adopt an American holiday. Mrs. Lem[e proposed the new Celebration, with a different date but the some feeling. “Straight away, I told Eleanor Roosevelt about it and asked her to start it,” Mrs. Lemle said. “Eleanor said, ‘Edna, you start it.’ I said , ‘I don’t know how to start a holiday.’ ”  But start it she did, and it has survived, and that is something. Mrs. Lemle seems to belong to a slightly old-fashioned breed that has managed somehow to steer clear fo cynicism– that citrus canker of human affairs.

“When you’re bothered, just stop and think of something to be grateful for- what it is doesn’t matter sO much as the emotion,” she says and she is correct.

Because she likes copper, she had the floor of an elevator in her building coated with pennies — they are glued wall to wall, and over the years they hue been worn shiny smooth, except around the edges of the elevator, where you can still see Lincoln’s face. The first time we rode in that elevator, we didn’t look down long enough to see them. The second time we noticed, and were pleased, and from there it is only one stop on the local to gratitude.

Who comes to World Gratitude Day? Some followers of Sri Chinmoy, who is a religious leader, and some friends of Edna Lemle, and Richard Roffman, who has been a radio figure for 50 years and now works in TV… ” I am grateful for the life I have lived” he told us…,





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