These are tough times. Money is tight, the American Dollar continues to lose value and our Military fights in foreign lands without even knowing what kind of plan the White House has in store for them. It is not easy to have faith or feel grateful these days, but we must always remember: we have each other, and together we can accomplish anything.
The first Thanksgiving is said to have taken place in 1621 between the Plymouth Pilgrims and the Wampanoag tribe, who had helped them to fish, hunt and plant. Although George Washington proclaimed a day of thanks around the time of the War for Independence, it was not until 1863 that Thanksgiving became an official tradition under the Lincoln presidency and only in 1941 under Franklin Delano Roosevelt did it become designated as a national holiday taking place on the 4th Thursday of November.
Be that as it may, celebration of and gratitude for harvest is not a new concept; historians trace harvest observances back thousands of years, and across many cultures. And, while it is sometimes difficult to find things for which to be grateful in these trying times, the tradition brings us back to center, at least for a day. As we gather with friends and family to celebrate and give thanks for what we have, we are reminded that an attitude of gratitude is something that improves life not just on the day set aside for it, but over the other 364 days of the year.
For, no matter how bad things may seem, there are always things for which to be grateful: friends who are like family, family that is like friends, and whatever food, shelter, water and air we have; the courage and commitment of our troops, so many of whom now fight on foreign soil; and for the Patriots who watch over our Constitution and its Republic in whatever capacity they are able.
Wishing Blessings to All this 4th Thursday of November, 2009, and with special thanks and admiration for all who attended and worked Continental Congress 2009 in St. Charles, Illinois. A more dedicated, tireless group of Patriots never existed, then or now.