I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and week!

My week will be in Virginia visiting my mother’s side of the family, three cousins’ families and a friend of mine from third grade. I’m looking forward to strengthening family relationships. I hope you are blessed with good family and friends. Fortunately, I’m blessed.

Original Thanksgiving story, 400 years ago:

Thanksgiving, so rich with tradition, has its origins in the earliest days of the founding of this nation. This year marks the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving. The early years of the explorers to come to the American continent were difficult ones indeed. Squanto, a Native American chief, saw the plight of these new neighbors and saw to it his tribe helped these young families to survive. This act of friendship was the origin of our revered holiday of Thanksgiving.

The foods we use to celebrate Thanksgiving were ones that the pilgrim travelers found native to this country and the foods that, with the help of Native American teachers, they learned to capture, harvest and prepare to feed their families and prosper in their new home. Turkey was a game foul that was in ample supply to the pilgrims once Squanto showed them how to hurt the bird with reliable success.

In many ways, our modern holiday, despite the dominance of football games and the upcoming Christmas holiday, retains the atmosphere of that first celebration. This holiday ranks high to Americans as an important holiday in the hearts of family and as a nation. And Americans have much to be thankful for. The abundance of the land and a society that is free are just part of the things we celebrate at this holiday time. But for most of us, it is a time to gather family and friends near and be thankful to God for our health, for the blessings of jobs and for the privilege all Americans share to be able to live in the greatest nation on earth where opportunity is ample that any of us can make it and do well if we work hard at our chosen area of expertise. And these are things truly worthy of giving thanks for.
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