Our readers write
Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 7:01 pm
Let’s not forget Thanksgiving
To The Editor:
Every year, before the dust has settled on Halloween, Christmas appears in stores. This year I noticed that Walmart started putting up their “Christmas Store” at the beginning of October. It seems as though another important holiday has been forgotten in all the hype about Christmas — Thanksgiving.
One has to look really hard in the stores to find Thanksgiving decorations which are usually buried among the Halloween decorations. I clipped out an editorial cartoon that I found several years ago that depicts a turkey lying on the ground squashed by sleigh tracks in the snow. Santa and his sleigh are waving goodbye to the turkey.
For those who have forgotten what Thanksgiving is all about, here is a brief history lesson taken from several historical accounts:
The very first Thanks-giving observance was held by English settlers in Virginia in the year 1619. It was a religious ceremony entirely and did not involve a feast. The Thanksgiving celebration that I learned about in school when I was a child, was the one about the Pilgrims who came to America in 1620. Thanksgiving was a big deal to us and in school we celebrated by making decorations and by putting on a play about the Pilgrims and their Indian friends.
In Sept. of 1620, a small group of about 100 people left England for the “new world”. Thirty-five of these people were Pilgrims, also called Puritans. They were a group of Protestant Separatists who had broken away from the Church of England because they felt that it had become too rigid and too corrupt. They said for America so that they could worship as they saw proper and still retain their English way of life. Their intended destination was Virginia Colony but their ship, the Mayflower, as pushed northward by the ocean currents and they landed on Cape Cod Bay. Since it was already December and the seas had become rough, they decided to stay. Seeing a need for some kind of social structure, they drew up a document called the Mayflower Compact which essentially established the first independent democratic government in the New World. The group endured a long, bleak winter with very little food and about of them died from starvation and the winter elements. In the spring, the local Native Americans helped the survivors by showing them which crops to plant, which wild foods were safe to eat and which game to hunt. The fall harvest was very bountiful so, in November, the Pilgrims, along with their Native American friends celebrated with the first Thanksgiving feast in the New World.
Jump to the year 1789. President George Washington issued a proclamation naming Nov. 26 as a day of national thanksgiving but it didn’t really take off. Some of the states observed a day of thanks at different times. For many years thereafter, there never really was a national Thanksgiving Day until 1863, when President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as “a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father.” However, it wasn’t until 1941 that congress ruled that the 4th Thursday of November would be observed as Thanksgiving Day and made it a federal holiday.
Thanksgiving is every bit important to America as Christmas! It is a time to remember our roots and to reflect on the blessings that God has bestowed on this wonderful country.
Unfortunately, there are many people out there who want to — and have succeeded to some degree — remove God out of our country. Let us not stand by and allow that to happen! As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year let us all pray that the godless among us will fail in their quest to remove God from our land.
Secure that grant
before it’s too late
To The Editor:
Finally! We’re going to get rid of the Reelfoot Packing House. That is, if the city gets the EPA grant it’s applying for.
Thank goodness it’s acting now rather than later. After next year, there might not even be an EPA to apply to, since most of the Republican presidential candidates are making noises about caging, chaining and hobbling the agency, if not killing it outright.
So let’s hope the city gets the grant and gets it before the end of next year; otherwise we could be stuck with the packing plant forever. And now let’s all give a hurrah for big government spending.
a source of pride
To The Editor:
A few weeks ago, as I was leaving the courthouse after taking care of some business, I noticed a man on his knees pulling weeds around the Iwo Jima monument.
I stopped for a moment to say hello. He was an ex-Marine veteran of that battle. He spoke of those days and the lives that were lost. I was humbled and proud just to know such a man. I thanked him for his service and went on my way. As I drove away, the thought occurred to me, I should be on my knees, not just pulling weeds, but thanking my maker for people such as him and for this country I have been so blessed to live in. This scene will forever be etched in my mind. How fitting a Norman Rockwell painting set in time — a beautiful courthouse lawn, a battle monument, a veteran of that battle still serving. It was the equivalent of going back in time 80 years and witnessing a veteran caring for the Confederate monument.
I feel a great sense of pride and shame — pride in what he and others have done and shame in that I have done so little, and yet I have enjoyed the blessings of liberty that they fought for.
There is very little I can do in comparison to what they have done. But, one thing I can do is I can be grateful to them and almighty God for freedom.
Published in The Messenger 11.9.11
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