Anyone who remembers elementary school history would recognize the name Squanto. He was a Patuxet indian born sometime in the late 1500’s. In 1614, he was kidnapped and taken to Spain, where an Englishman tried to sell him and several other indians into slavery. A group of Franciscan monks took the indians into their monastery and taught them English, European civilization and the Christian faith. Squanto returned to New England in 1618 to find his tribe decimated by European illnesses that his people had no immunity against. Having no home left, he joined the English pilgrims at their Plymouth settlement and helped them survive a brutal winter by teaching them to catch fish and fertilize crops. Distrusted by other indians in the area, he came under frequent threat as the Wampanoag first appointed him the liason to the settlers (because he spoke English) then tried to kill him for being a traitor.
Thanksgiving as we know it today is traced back largely to Squanto and the pilgrims who settled at Plymouth having their first harvest feast. Those first crops harvested wouldn’t have been possible without Squanto and his allies in the Wampanoag confederacy. It’s changed a lot since 1621. It is generally accepted that turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and cranberries are the main staples of our Thanksgiving dinner here in the United States. Unfortunately, I think we lose sight of what it should be about.
I’m thankful that my “little” brother (he’s not so little anymore) is home with his wife and kids this year instead of being deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, both of which he has spent the holidays in once each.
I’m thankful that my dad and I are good friends and he’s picked up the guitar again so we can jam together.
I’m thankful for the happy memories I still have with those friends I lost this year and hope to see them all again.
I’m thankful to have a job despite the poor state of the economy and 10% of the country being unemployed.
I’m thankful that I am not the only conservative homosexual in America and that I have met Steve, Philip, Mark and Christopher and all the other conservative gays and lesbians who have joined us through various ways to support each other.
I’m thankful to have a home in a nice neighborhood with the best roommate I could have asked for.
I’m thankful to be a native of the freest nation in the world, the United States of America, and thankful for every right and freedom that comes with it.
God bless you all…I love you and wish you a Happy Thanksgiving no matter where you are!