World Gratitude and Thanksgiving Days noted – 2013 Sep 21

Filed under Summaries of related posts | Thanksgiving - Gratitude

Main points for background on World Gratitude Day, International Day of Thanksgiving and Days of Prayer.

Since the 1970’s “Sri Chinmoy: the Peace Meditation at the United Nations” has supported events in celebration of World Gratitude, International Thanksgiving and Prayer Days.

Below are summary descriptions of:

A. Day of Prayer: National and International
B. International Days of Thanksgiving and visits to Thanks-Giving Square.
C. World Gratitude Day
D. Gratitude Song at 200th Anniversary of USA’s Thanksgiving Day in Valley Forge.
E. Related events such as

– 1982 UN redesigned Meditation Room after 25 Years: Presentation to Secretary General, 1st “Declaration of World Thanks”
– 1996 Declaration to Secretary-General; Sri Chinmoy offered a moment of silence at an Interfaith Ceremony
– 1982 – 2008 – Other Annual Declarations of World Thanksgiving – samples
– 1985  Thanksgiving for “UN 40th Anniversary” – USA Presentation of Norman Rockwell’s Golden Rule Mosaic 21 October – “Do Unto Others….”
– 2000 International Year of Thanksgiving –  proclaimed by UN General Assembly
– 2007 Draft Resolution, Annual World (Gratitude and) Thanksgiving Day

See also: Site Category – Thanksgiving-Gratitude:

A. Day of Prayer: National and International

In July of 1975, members of the Peace Meditation at the United Nations were involved with the first “National Day of Prayer Observance at the United Nations. The event was favourably covered by the NY Times with an interfaith photo of Sri Chinmoy presiding during a silent meditation with the representatives of various religions. The article included a description of the event as the “most representative gathering of religious leaders ever held in the city” as cited by Rev. Dr. Dan M. Potter, Executive Director of the Council of Churches of the City of New York. World or International Days of Prayer were celebrated in other years (e.g.: Interfaith Observance – World Day of Prayer, April  1976; USA National Day of Prayer, May 1976) as well as many interfaith Prayer Breakfasts held each year honouring the opening of the UN General Assembly (e.g. 2000)

More at:  Day of Prayer: National and International – and Peace Meditation at United Nations

B. International Days of Thanksgiving and visits to Thanks-Giving Square.

The Thanksgiving Foundation of Dallas, Texas had been involved with calling attention to the USA National Day of Prayer and highlighting the history of this event and the long history of Thanksgiving proclamations by USA Presidents. The Foundation sent an encouraging message for the National Day of Prayer programme at the UN in 1975. On a number of occasions at the United Nations, the founder, Peter Stewart, and other representatives of Thanks-Giving Square Foundation, participated in “International Days of Thanksgiving” organized by the Peace Meditation Group for the UN community.

In March of 1976, a representative of the Peace Meditation Group at the UN was invited to Dallas to meet with supporters of an inter-faith public Thanks-Giving Square being planned for their city. For other special occasions The Peace Meditation at the UN, was invited to Dallas for the Dedication of the Interfaith Chapel , 1976; for the Hall of Thanksgiving, 1977; and for other periodic Thanks-Giving Square related events.

See also

Mr. Waldo Stewart of the Thanksgiving Square Foundation in Dallas, Texas  introduced a Film about the Foundation’s inter-Faith, international place of Gratitude. Haruna Kimura performed a dance of Invocation and Thanksgiving called “Shima no Senzai” in the Kabuki style; Presentation of engraved Plaque expressing gratitude for the service and inspiration that Thanksgiving Square Foundation; An International Thanksgiving Dinner, catered by Annam Brahma Restaurant, was given that evening in the Ex-Press Bar of the U.N. At the dinner there was a dramatic dance in celebration of Kwanza-First Fruits Festival by the Olatunji Center for African Culture.

C. World Gratitude Day:

Beginning in 1977, World Gratitude Day was also celebrated by the Members and friends of the Peace Meditation Group at the United Nations. A special song “World Gratitude Day” was composed by Sri Chinmoy and performed by the Meditation Group Choir. They also participated on a number of occasions at the World Gratitude Day headquarters in NY at the special request of the day’s founder, Mrs. Edna Fuerth Lemle. She explained the origin of the Day on many occasions.

Following quote is from 1977 when Mrs. Lemle presented an award to Sri Chinmoy:

Each year the Board of Directors of World Gratitude Day presents an award to someone who we feel has done something outstanding in the spirit of Globalism. In the past we have honoured such distinguished individuals as Angie Brooks Randolph, first woman president of the United Nations General Assembly, Maurice Strong of Canada and the Nobel Prize Laureate, Rene Cassin. In addition we have honoured UNICEF and Japan, which, incidentally, was the first country to declare World Gratitude Day a national day of thanksgiving.

And so, I present this year’s World Gratitude Day Award (1977):

WORLD GRATITUDE DAY is pleased to honour SRI CHINMOY who has enhanced the spirit of globalism with his compassion, his creativity and his great nobility; whose being and achievements reflect the spirit of our Proclamation:

  • WHEREAS, humanity has come to recognise devotion and allegiance to immediate family, to clan, to city, to state, and to nation, and now must experience the concept of Globalism; and
  • WHEREAS, words of praise and positive thoughts generate dynamic harmony, and
  • WHEREAS, decisions made from a grateful heart are endowed with intrinsic wisdom and engender prosperity; and
  • WHEREAS, gratitude, the opposite of “taking for granted,” is a positive emotion which generates good will, is a basic emotion which is indigenous to all people, is a peace-engendering feeling;
  • AND WHEREAS, September 21 is a special day. It is an equinox: one of the two times of the year when the sun passes over the equator and night and day are everywhere of equal length and everyone is equal under the sun;

THEREFORE let us proclaim World Gratitude Day, a holiday for all peoples, a day of meditation for all religions, a day of celebration for all humanity, united by knowledge of simultaneously shared emotion, a day when triumph of the spirit can make a world community.

 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. 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. Lemle proposed the new Celebration, with a different date but the same 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 of 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.

“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…”


SEE Also:

D. Gratitude Song at 200th Anniversary of USA’s Thanksgiving Day in Valley Forge.

On 18 December 1977, the Peace Meditation Group choir was invited to open an historic commemoration of the 200th anniversary of America’s Thanksgiving Day in Valley Forge. The singers performed Sri Chinmoy’s Songs “World Gratitude Day” and “O My America”, to mark the original Thanksgiving observed by George Washington.

The event, sponsored by National Thanksgiving Foundation was celebrated by representatives of the armed forces, the clergy and the international community.

 see more details, music score and letter of appreciation  :  Meditation Group singers Perform at Valley Forge 200th Anniv. USA first thanksgiving.

E. Related Events:

  • 1982 – 2008 – Other Annual Declarations of World Thanksgiving – samples
  • 1985 – Thanksgiving for “UN 40th Anniversary” – USA Presentation of Norman Rockwell’s Golden Rule Mosaic, “Do Unto Others….” – 21 October
  • 1975 – 1996  Examples of Peace Meditation programs support of Gratitude, Thanksgiving, Prayer )

Some “Gratitude, thankful and Thank You”  songs

1977-09-sep-21-world-gratitude-day-song-words-sri-chinmoy song-world-gratitude-day-sri-chinmoy     bu-scpmaun-1979-04-27-vol-07-n-04-apr_Page_52-song-eimstein-thankful-words Thank-you-music-score

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