All across America, citizens are preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving. As I have been in and out of several stores lately and have seen the Christmas decorations popping up already, I wanted to take a brief minute and encourage everyone to slow down and not fly past the great meaning behind Thanksgiving and some of its earliest reasons for being.
In case many of you are like me and it has been awhile since high school or college history classes let’s walk down the forgotten pages of history together and make sure that we are adding these very important historical facts to our list of items to be grateful for this year.
The year was 1620 and after two long months crossing the Atlantic Ocean, 102 weary Puritans came ashore in what would be their new home. Where was that? None other than the modern day state of Massachusetts. But before coming ashore the group assembled and drafted what became known as the Mayflower Compact. It was in this simple document that the idea of Self Government was introduced to North America and many of the Founders credit it for inspiring the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.
Not only had they braved the Atlantic Ocean in a 102-foot ship, they were now going ashore into an inhospitable wilderness in the middle of winter. Let two of those facts sink in… TWO months to cross the Atlantic and going ashore in winter with NO housing or food.
It took from December to March to complete housing for the Pilgrims so that they could move completely ashore. Over the first winter 50% of the Pilgrims died due to sickness and starvation. From March to November of 1621 the Pilgrims were able to grow food and establish their settlement with the help of the local Native American tribe that they had befriended. So when November of 1621 came the remaining Pilgrims decided to have a feast with the local Native Americans and give Thanks to God for the Blessings that he had bestowed upon them.
So on our National Day of Thanksgiving let’s also be grateful for what our ancestors almost 400 years ago passed down to us:
- The establishment of the concept of Freedom of Religion
- The establishment of the idea of what Americanism means…that through hard work and perseverance you can achieve Liberty
- The foundations for a government based on our rights being bestowed on us by God
- And planting the seeds to create the most prosperous nation in history from which (as you look around your house) God has blessed us with safe warm homes with modern conveniences never imagined, abundant food, and an experiment in self-government that is beacon of hope for all that live in tyranny today in many parts of the world.
God Bless You and Your Family,
Hood County Republican Chairman