Thanksgiving Day 2011

Many of us will gather with family and friends for a time feasting. Some of us actually express our thanks for the land in which we live, our freedoms, and the bounty that has been bestowed on us. Unfortunately there are those who will forgo much of the Thanksgiving celebration and “hit the shopping centers” early. My heart goes out to those who work in retail establishments who must leave their families demand the cash registers and perform other retail functions. It’s a real shame that we use such a wonderful holiday to promote commercialism in place of thankfulness.

We should remember that first Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. Only 53 of the settlers survived that terrible winter of 1620 – less than half the number of those who left Leiden the year before. It was a winter of unimaginable suffering and loss. One can only imagine the level of grief – and gratitude that attended the end of the harvest in 1621. The 53 settlers, at Gov. Bradford’s orders, invited 90 Indians to join them for a (religious) feast of Thanksgiving.

We should remember our history. It would make us better people