Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The True Meaning Of Thanksgiving

In these days of complete chaos and unrest in our Country and the world, let us give thanks to all of our blessings. Although we may feel our future looks bleak, with unity we will survive as our forefathers did. Remember the Pilgrims who came to America, despite all the hardships they endured were thankful for the small but bountiful blessings God gave them. They worked together in unity with themselves and the Native Americans and survived against the odds. 

In 1621 a tiny group of people fled their homeland for Freedom of Religion, they became known as the Pilgrims. Their journey was indeed a wonderful pilgrimage that set the foundation for the Freedom our Country would come to know. 102 brave souls set sail for the Americas, intending to land in Virginia but after surviving storms and being thrown off course landed in Plymouth Mass. They blessed the land and thanked God for their safe arrival. Only 53 people survived the trip and the harsh New England winter.

As spring came around a Native Indian Tribe befriended them and taught them how to fish, garden, extract maple from the trees and other survival techniques. The Pilgrims were so thankful with their first harvest they invited the Wampanoag Tribe to attend a 3 day feast. The Indians brought venison, there was fish, lobster, seal and swan on the menu. More than likely there was no turkey, but an abundance of goose and duck. The early settlers considered any fowl to be turkey. These Early American settlers are generally given credit for celebrating the First Thanksgiving. History shows us there were many days of Thanksgiving celebrated around the world long before the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock.

Coronado and 1,500 of his men celebrated a day of Thanksgiving in Palo Duro Canyon, Texas i n 1541. The local Texas Plains Indians were invited to the celebration, I believe buffalo would have been on their menu.

In 1565 Spanish explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilé landed in St. Augustine, Florida. After holding mass to thank God for their safe arrival invited members of the local Timucua tribe to dinner.
On Del. 4, 1619 reached Berkeley Hundred on the James river in Virginia read a proclamation designating the date as "a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God."

In ancient times Egyptians, Greeks and Romans feasted and paid tributes to their gods after the fall harvest.

Ancient Jews held a harvest festival of Sukkot. Historians tell us that Native Americans held celebrations to commemorate the fall harvest long before the early settlers set foot on the shores of the United States of America.

November 26, 1789 was proclaimed by President George Washington as a national day of thanksgiving and should be one of prayer. Having survived the Revolutionary War there was much to be thankful for.

In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln established an annual, official Thanksgiving Holiday on the last Thursday of November.

During the depression era President Franklin Roosevelt moved the holiday back to the next to last Thursday of November, hoping to spur sales for the nation by giving a longer holiday shopping season. This act came about with mixed responses, (the Republicans refused to change it) in 1941 Roosevelt changed the bill back to the last Thursday in November

Thanksgiving is a day set aside for all of us to remember and be thankful for all we have been given. 
Thank God we still live in a Free Country and we have the opportunity to change the direction our government is taking us.
No matter how small we feel our blessings are we have much to be thankful for. 
The citizens of the USA have not had to flee our homeland because of tyranny or oppression. 
We have never been threatened with mass execution. 
We have never had our property taken away from us. 
We do have the right to vote and pray to the God of our choice.
Although we feel many of our God Given Rights are being stolen from us,
now is the time for unity not division.
Thank you Lord for the Freedom of this Country.
Thank you Lord for all you have given me and this wonderful Country.

Tea Party Deanie