On Giving Thanks
As we round the corner to the Thanksgiving holiday, we take pause to recognize the blessings of the previous year. For centuries now millions of Americans have been prayerfully thinking about all for which they should be thankful. 2022 should be no exception. This annual tradition finds it origins in the year 1619 in what is now the Commonwealth of Virginia when thirty eight English settlers arrived by way of the
Atlantic Ocean and the James River. The more popular narrative traces back to the Pilgrims in 1621 when
they celebrated in Plymouth, Massachusetts with the Wampanoags. The Wampanoags were a Native American tribe with whom they had an alliance and protection against the Narragansett tribe in exchange
Thanksgiving has always been a religious holiday which George Washington, America’s first President, proclaimed the first nationwide celebration in November 26th, 1789. He said “… a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God….” It has since become more secular with activities surrounding the weekend such as Black Friday shopping and NFL football games.
Looking back, this year has been one of joy and anguish. When we sit down for dinner on Thanksgiving Day, let’s pray that next year is one filled with more joy than anguish. And then let’s work to make it that way in whatever big or small ways that are at our disposal.
Patrick J. Wood
Author of “Dear Reader” and “Tapestry of Love and Loss”