The concept of Thanksgiving is based upon the survival of a boatload of refugees stricken by storm, disease and starvation, who, upon landing on these shores, were aided by sympathetic Native Americans who chose to share their food with the desperately ill and starving new arrivals. Meanwhile, those first Americans taught the immigrants to fend for themselves by showing them the basics of hunting, food gathering, planting, tending and harvesting in an unfamiliar world.
From that shared meal has evolved the holiday of Thanksgiving, a time for friends and families to gather and enjoy a feast. On the menu, a roast American turkey leads the list that extends from pumpkin pie to cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes smothered beneath succulent gravy, tables groaning under the weight of holiday fare. Hot mulled cider and ample supplies of scuppernong wine also find favor.
This national celebration reminds us of those brave but endangered adventurers who 384 years ago were delivered from their privation by kindness. On Thanksgiving, they send down through the years to our now bountiful nation a reminder to feel and to express that oft forgotten emotion, gratitude.
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