Opinion: “It’s Thanksgiving Day, Isn’t It?”

I started cooking for today’s Thanksgiving Day meal a couple days ago. I went into high gear yesterday. That meant I was ready for preparing and cooking the turkey and dressing this morning before a 1:30 PM meal.

After the meal was over and we’d done some preliminary cleanup I decided to take a break. I said to myself: “I wonder what shows about Thanksgiving Day and the Pilgrims are on?” I’d seen some really good ones in the past and wouldn’t mind watching them again. So I turned the television on and punched 135 into the remote for the History Channel. They actually had a show on about the day, or something like it? They were showing “Swampsgiving Day” a show about catching, cooking and eating alligators. Not exactly what I was hoping for!

I turned to 276, Turner Classic Movies, thinking they must be showing a movie about the Pilgrims, the first Thanksgiving or something related to their struggles and accomplishments. No, they weren’t. “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” was showing to be followed by “The Black Stallion” and “Rear Window”. 277 was carrying the National Lampoon Vacation movies and 281 was carrying “Blazing Saddles”. When I turned to PBS it was showing the British Cooking show.

Not one show on the Pilgrims on the 400th Anniversary of the coming to New England?

I guess I’m just out of touch with life in these United States? This was an event that had a profound influence on the founding of our country, on the style of government we have and on our nation’s history. Yet on the 400th Anniversary of the Pilgrim’s coming to North America we don’t find any evidence of the event on television?

So I’m going to do my part here.

The pictures are from my wife’s and my 2010 visit to Plimoth Plantation at Plymouth, Mass. It represents their community in 1626. That was after their long and arduous journey and two long years of hardship. They arrived in 1620 on the Mayflower. Half of those who came were dead by the next spring. More settlers arrived in 1621 on the Fortune, though their fate was not so fortunate. They arrived late in the year with few supplies and again it was a deadly winter. The third ship to arrive was the Anne and it came to Plimoth Plantation in 1623. By then the community was established and with the assistance of the Native Americans were providing for themselves.

During that visit in 2010 my wife and I had a long discussion with William Brewster, the Pilgrim’s religious leader (pictured above in the slide show). How ironic was that since in 2017 I found that William Brewster and his wife Mary were two of my 8,192 eleventh generation great grandparents. Since then I have become a member of the Mayflower Society.

Maybe that explains why I’m concerned that our history and heritage no longer seem important to Americans. But once we forget about the Pilgrims, the Founding Fathers and those who have forged our history since, we will lose sight of what has made us a great nation.

I. for one, hope that will never happen!

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