When you and your loved ones sit down today to enjoy another Thanksgiving dinner, you will share more than a bountiful feast with the Pilgrims who established this wholly American tradition back in 1621.
Those colonists were coming off a tough year. Although the winter was not particularly harsh, life was: History books tells us that of the 102 Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock on Dec. 21, 1620, only 56 had survived to partake in what had been a bountiful harvest. Ninety-one American Indians joined them to enjoy fish, berries, watercress, lobster, dried fruit, venison and plums during what would become a three-day feast.
That’s right, on that first day of Thanksgiving, there was no plump turkey to carve.
Those colonists provided the foundation for what is now the most traditional of holidays in America, a country that is different now than it was on Sept. 11, 2001, which thankfully — but also regrettably — is a fading memory for too many of us. And like the colonists of 1621, it’s important that Americans, despite difficult times, remain optimistic and determined about a future that does not come with a warranty.
This country, although not fault free, remains the world’s wealthiest, its most generous, its most powerful, its most important — and it most envied.
That doesn’t mean there are not those among us who are suffering, and of all the things Robeson County does well, at the top of the list is that we take care of those who are less fortunate. Today there will be multiple efforts from good-hearted folks across Robeson County to make sure that those among us who are alone enjoy company, and that our impoverished get stuffed along with the big bird.
We remain the world’s freest people, enjoying liberties that are the envy of all the world. To be born in this country is to have hit the lottery at birth, especially during the 21st century, when our poor would be among the richest people on most corners of this globe.
It is a blessing to be an American. And for that, we should all give thanks.