1 Thanksgiving 1621

William Bradford, Edward Winslow, Elder Brewster, Myles Standish, and Thomas Morton — names all Massachusetts knows well — led the Pilgrims in giving thanks for survival and for bounty on that November day in 1621, with Indians as fellow participants.

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On this day, the 393rd Thanksgiving since our Pilgrim predecessors first celebrated survival in their new home overlooking Plymouth Harbor, we give thanks, as all of you are doing, for all that we have and all that we are.

We give thanks for being alive, active participants in the great experiment we call “America.”

We give thanks for having friends and family, as most of us do; and to those who do not have friends or family today, we ask that you give us the privilege of being friebnds and family to you.

We give thanks for the food that we have been accorded today; and to those of you who do not have food accorded, we ask that you allow us the honor of bringing it to you, so that you can smile as we are smiling.

We give thanks for our democracy, which even when imperfect is always capable of being more perfected ; because at the very least, that’s what democracy has that no other society knows : an invitation to every hand on deck to set the ship of state better on course.

We give thanks for all of our neighbors and community, the more diverse the better ; for every person bears within his or her soul a precious part of human society, human ways, human wisdom.

We give thanks for the amazing safety in which most of us live, protected by two vast oceans that make it very difficult or those who hate us to get at us. And we give special thnaks for our troops serving duty overseas, far from home and family, so that our nation may breathe easier, prosper and sleep well at night.

For all this we give thanks and say thank you; and hopefully we, and many more of us, rescued from want or loneliness, will do the same next November.

And now that we have said our thank yous, it is time to go eat, and drink, and toast good cheer. We’ll get back to you tomorrow.

— The Editors / Here and Sphere

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