We mark this holiday the fourth Thursday of November as a time to give thanks for the many things that we have in our lives. History has it that the Pilgrims sat down with Wampanoag Indians in a feast in 1621. Historians also tell us that this feast lasted for three days. Can you imagine how you would feel if you ate a Thanksgiving dinner three days in a row. It marked a time when the colonists lived in peace with the Native American population. That peace was last about 10 years and as thousands of settlers continued to arrive and this led to a fight over land.
Today we celebrate Thanksgiving as a national holiday. It was celebrated on and off since 1789 with a Proclamation by George Washington and was officially made a holiday in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln declared a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” When I read that I was shocked to think that some group like the ACLU has not challenged this holiday or at the least forced a rewrite of the proclamation.
So the question is what are we thankful for? Below is a list of things that I am thankful.
- I am thankful for the ability to worship in a manner that I desire and for the founding fathers for ensuring that right.
- I am thankful for my family, especially my wife of 47 years. I am thankful for my four wonderful daughters, four great sons-in-law and 11 fabulous grandchildren.
- I am thankful for the privilege of living in this great country that affords me, a kid from the Federal Housing Projects in Pittsburgh, all the opportunities to succeed and provide a better life for my children.
- I am thankful for my health. It was touch and go in 1995 but I somehow outfoxed the doctors and here I still am 21 years later.
- I am thankful for all the friends I have in life. They come from all walks of life, different backgrounds and in many cases very different politics.
- I am actually thankful for the many trials in my life. I did not realize it when they occurred but they help shape me into the person I am.
- I am eternally thankful for my mother, Flora, who passed away in 2013 at the age of 91. She raised us after my father passed away when I was 4 years old, leaving behind a widow and 5 young children under the age of 7.
- Finally, I am thankful for the game of golf. It is a game that I can play well into old age and one that my sons-in-law, who can not jump higher, run faster, etc…., will never beat me. LOL