The pilgrims that landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620 started their long journey by boarding the Mayflower in Delftshaven, Holland. They endured crossing a stormy ocean, but when they landed all they could see before them was a vast and desolate wilderness full of wild beasts and wild men. There were no friends to welcome them, no inns to entertain them, no homes or towns to give them shelter. Almost 50% of the settlers died the first year due to illness and the harsh winter weather but they persevered! The first American Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621, to commemorate the successful harvest gathered by the Plymouth Colony after the first harsh winter. In that year Governor William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving. The colonists celebrated by inviting the local Indians to a traditional English harvest feast (from WSJ).
As Americans we should remind ourselves that the richness of our country was not born in the resources of the earth but in sacrifices and hard work of our men and women through many years. We are reminded of their hard work every where we look … in cities, towns, farms, factories, hospitals, homes, and schools that spread across the wilderness that once greeted the pilgrims. For all our social disagreements we are still the longest enduring society of free men governing themselves without a king or dictator. We might remind ourselves also, that if those men and women setting out from Delftshaven had been daunted by the troubles they saw around them, then we would probably not be celebrating Thanksgiving Day this November 27 (from WSJ).
In 1789, following a proclamation issued by President George Washington, America celebrated its first Day of Thanksgiving to God under its new constitution. Much of the credit for the adoption of a later ANNUAL national Thanksgiving Day may be attributed to Mrs. Sarah Joseph Hale, the editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book. For thirty years, she promoted the idea of a national Thanksgiving Day, contacting President after President until President Abraham Lincoln responded in 1863 by setting aside the last Thursday of November as a national Day of Thanksgiving. Over the next seventy-five years, Presidents followed Lincoln’s precedent, annually declaring a national Thanksgiving Day. Then, in 1941, Congress permanently established the fourth Thursday of each November as a national holiday.
Other countries may also celebrate a day of thanksgiving but in America, Thanksgiving day is very special because we have so much to be thankful for:
We are privileged to live in America, the greatest country the world has even known.
We have the freedom to speak our minds, choose our religion, decide our future and we have the freedom to work hard to achieve our own American Dream.
We live in a country where citizens are willing to give their lives to protect our freedom. That is American Exceptionalism and we thank our military for the sacrifices they make every day.
We live in a country where all citizens are created equal, no monarchy or hereditary classes.
We have the freedom to vote for are elected officials and we must continue to guard this important freedom.
As we celebrate this holiday with family and friends take a minute to think about what you are most thankful for.
God Bless America!
We wish You and Your Family a Very Happy, Healthy and Blessed Thanksgiving Day
Thank you for all you do,
Working Together To Make A Difference