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THANKSGIVING From Jeannette M. Gagan, PhD
From:
Jeannette M. Gagan, PhD Jeannette M. Gagan, PhD
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Santa Fe , NM
Monday, November 18, 2019

 

Blog81AThanksgiving is a holiday celebrated by Americans on the fourth Thursday of November. This day celebrates the story of the Pilgrim’s meal with the Native Americans and is a day that is spent with loved ones and for giving thanks.

According to Wikipedia, the most prominent historic Thanksgiving event in American culture is the 1621 celebration, which occurred on Plymouth Plantation when settlers had a harvest feast after growing season. The Plymouth settlers, known as Pilgrims, had settled on land that was abandoned after all but one of the Patuxet Indians died in a plague. After a harsh winter killed half of the Plymouth settlers, the last surviving Patuxet, Squanto (who had learned to speak English and avoided the plague as a slave in Europe), came in at the request of Samoset, the first Native American to encounter the Pilgrims. Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to catch eel, grow corn, and served as an interpreter for them until he, too, succumbed to the plague a year later. The Wampanoag leader Massasoit also gave food to the colonists during the first winter, when supplies brought from England were insufficient.

Of significance to me is how people from different cultures were able to relate to each other even when they didn’t speak the same language. I am also moved by the effort of the Native Americans to help out those in need. I am struck by the parallels to the current immigration situation in the United States—how some welcome immigrants and/or people of different color, while others do not. 

It is my hope that on this Thanksgiving Day more people will remember, and perhaps even help, those of different background—be it nationality, color of skin, political preferences, or religious beliefs. For myself, I will be giving thanks for the abundance in my life and for people who are willing to go beyond the surface and limiting beliefs to truly meet human to human. 

Dear readers, what will you be giving thanks for? Any comments you may have regarding Thanksgiving, be they favorable or unfavorable, are most welcome!  

 
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