Today the day we give thanks, most give thanks for their families, friends and good health, a roof over their heads and a job that helps them support their family. However, American history reflects the origins of this day as a celebration of a bountiful harvest brought about by the pilgrims and the partnership of a tribe of Native Americans.
In 1620 a group of 102 individuals sailed 66 days across a treacherous ocean in hopes of freely practicing their choice of religious faith and the lure of a promise of prosperity, along with the ownership of land. The ship called the Mayflower landed near the tip of Cape Cod which was not their intended destination. It was another month before the Mayflower made it to Plymouth where only half of its passengers and crew survived to see this new land of freedom. Upon moving ashore, a tribe of Native Americans visited the pilgrims and taught these newcomers how to cultivate the land, and fish the rivers. It was this relationship that helped the pilgrims settled into the new land and an example of harmony between diverse cultures and from this relationship sprouted a thing we call Thanksgiving.
I could go on and tell of the battles that ensued this land and of the bloody conflicts between the Native Americans and the European settlers, but that would take away the traditional celebration of today. However, we must understand this was not the first Thanksgiving. There is history of annual celebrations that took place after a bountiful harvest across the world. Spanning the ancient times of the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans giving tribute to their gods for granting them an abundant harvest. Historians have told of the Native Americans celebrating a fall harvest with a feast and merrymaking before the pilgrims settled upon this land.
It is only fitting that this day we celebrate what we have and with that I give thanks for my family and my friends near and far, we may not all be in the same town or within the same walls of a home, nonetheless I am so very thankful to have you in my life. Happy Thanksgiving to all.