Tomorrow is nationally known as Thanksgiving Day.
Its origins aren't exact but most believe that it is traced to a feast way back in Plymouth in the year 1621. Many accounts of the event placed Pilgrims with Native Americans amicably seated around a full feast of the recent harvest.
The story that is told in school textbooks doesn't always tell the complete truth.
The truth is that a large number of the Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth starving and diseased after enduring months at sea. Many of them died very soon after their arrival to North America. They were unable to understand the crop cycles of this land and the seedlings they brought from England could not withstand the unforgiving terrain here.
The Wampanoag tribe already residing there taught effective methods of soil tilling and fertilization through use of rotting vegetables and fish. They intended to assist their new neighbors so that they would survive the impending winter after seeing the Pilgrims bury many of their own.
In addition to having strong tomato, corn, bean and squash harvests; the Wampanoag were skilled deer hunters and made dried meat and fish to last the winter. The Natives perfected the hunting and preparation of Atlantic Sea Eel and Rock Lobster.
The Native American tribes assisted the Pilgrims in survival techniques that were passed along through generations of farmers in New England.
Of course, we know how the story ends for the Native American: Smallpox disease attacked their unsuspecting immune systems. Others were forced into slavery while some were killed due to their unwillingness to conform to Christianity.
As Americans, we should remember the plight of the Native American during this time. The proud Wampanoag women who quieted the colic of the Pilgrim children by showing their mothers how to grind sassafras root for tea. Remember how the Native people shared the knowledge of survival with pale faces from an unknown land.
For my family and I, Thanksgiving is a day of remembrance of the Native American. We are thankful to have lives that are comfortable and full of more wants than needs. We acknowledge the struggle of the Native people and their fight to this day for a place in their own land.
Do not forget.
Thank you so much for reading my blog. I am thankful for you and your support.
Have a blessed holiday!
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