The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us and we begin to wonder – where has the year gone and my, isn’t it flying by?
What has it brought us and do we have anything to give thanks for?
For those of you reading this, you should be grateful for having been given another year of your life. No matter what your condition or how large or depleted your bank account, being here, celebrating another Thanksgiving, is what life is all about.
Of all the holidays of the year, Thanksgiving has traditionally been the best even during the worst of times.
For all of us in Charlestown, Thanksgiving is just what it implies. Whether or not we understand the holiday’s true meaning, its simple, beautiful, compelling title tends to say it all.
Who among us can possibly understand the trials and tribulations of the Pilgrims during their first winter in New England. Half of them died. Their spirits were bludgeoned. Everything about their lives became literally and figuratively frozen. And yet when all was said and done, they gave thanks for their good fortune in surviving and having been befriended by the Indians who gave them food and who showed them how to survive in the New World.
The official first Thanksgiving was proclaimed by Abraham Lincoln in 1863.
Franklin Roosevelt in December, 1941 called for the holiday to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November – and it has been since that time.
In our lives, that is, those of us who will celebrate Thanksgiving once again and all of those who have celebrated the Thanksgiving since they were born, it is, in many, many ways, the king of American holidays.
Giving thanks is an American tradition. While much of the world might tend to mock our society and its commercialism and tendency for overkill at whatever we do, at least, this once a year, we give thanks.
Giving thanks means stores open at midnight for shopping and sure – millions will go out at that ungodly hour to shop for bargains.
For most of us, Thanksgiving implies a day spent with family and friends. The traditional high school football game and the great turkey meal afterward.
It is a day many of us who are older now recall spending with our folks who are now gone and when we look back to those times when our lives stretched before us like an endless dream, we wish that table with our parents there could be set again.
Those fantasies cannot be accomplished.
What we will do with our families and our sons and daughters and our grandparents and friends on Thanksgiving will be to celebrate what it is to be Americans in this topsy turvy world.
Thanksgiving above all for us, is about being a good and decent people who live in freedom and sit down every November to give thanks.
That’s what its all about and we should be proud of this holiday and intent.