The establishment of the Thanksgiving holiday gave way to school days of school children dressing up like pilgrims and Indians. I always wanted to be a pilgrim but somehow I always was an Indian. I think the Indian costume was easier for my mother.
Truth is: I'm a pilgrim. My ancestors were pilgrims. They didn't come on the Mayflower, but did come to the colony soon after. They lived in an uncharted, unmapped land and learned to survive. Could we do that if we had to? Do we Americans have those survival skills? This is a topic that my husband and children have talked about before and we think we can. We know how to prepare unprocessed food (i.e. not out of a can or microwaved) and I can cook pretty well over fire.
My ancestors made a home for themselves in this wild land, defended her freedom, and respected her laws. They credited God with providing this home for them. And that is what Thanksgiving is about. I care about my history, the people who had something to do with who I am today (and yes, I do believe my English, Scottish, and German ancestors who began settling in America in 1609 had something to do with me), and my country.
All you have to do is watch the news and see the conditions under which other countries live. We have freedoms that they cannot even fathom. Underappreciated. Taken for granted. Sometimes it makes me sick to realize many in my country do not understand how wonderful it is here. I have friends who are not native to the United States. They, better than I, understand this. They tell me that on a frequent basis.
This country is not perfect - far from it. But it is the "land of the free and the home of the brave." Isn't it time we remembered why we are giving thanks? So to the Wallers, Kleckleys, Huffmans, Sims, McGlons and many others in my family tree: Thank you for coming to this land to live and worship as you please. Thank you for defending these freedoms so that I can live in freedom.
God Bless America.