For me, Thanksgiving has always been kind of a special holiday. Farm children can easily relate to celebrating, and giving thanks for, a bountiful harvest or a successful hunt. And I always have loved food.
Each year, hundreds and even thousands of members of the United American Indians of New England, along with many of their friends and supporters, gather on Cole’s Hill, an area that overlooks Plymouth Rock, to observe their “National Day of Mourning.” A sad occasion brought about by the survival of the Pilgrim colonies and the colonization of
One of their elders, Mahtowin Munro informed the crowd, “As Native Americans, we have no reason to give thanks for the European invasion of our land, and the genocide of our people. We are also here to talk about the continuing racism and oppression that we still face today.”
“We celebrated the first Thanksgiving with the settlers, and after that they took the land of the Native Americans,” said Edwin W. Morse, “Chief Wise Owl,” leader of the Chaubunagungamaug band of the Nipmuc tribe. “Indians saved the settlers and taught them how to survive – fed them and kept them alive. Every day is a feast day for Indians. Each day when we have dinner we thank the Creator.”
This autumn congregation of the Native Americans has not always been welcomed with open arms. In 1997, violence broke out. Twenty-five Indians were arrested. After the dust had settled, the town of
We celebrated our Thanksgiving in the East much as we always have here at home, with turkey, dressing, and all the “fixin’s.” We really enjoyed our first trip to
We really enjoyed a parade in
In the kitchen, women’s faces
Glowed from heat and pride and sweat,
Putting our meal on, knowing
It was their best effort yet.
Big old gobbler from the farmyard
Filled the roaster to the brim.
He steamed real good on the platter;
We sure did our best on him.
Our meal was a feast, the biggest
And best I have yet to taste.
And there’s lots of good leftovers,
I know none will go to waste.
As we sat down at the table,
Grandpa Lowther said a prayer.
He talked of that first Thanksgiving
Just as if he had been there.
Uncle Lige Craig said, “We like to
Hear about those days of old,
But pass down them mashed p’taters
Before they start getting cold.”
It’s been dark for several hours now.
The sun’s slipped behind the hills,
But I’m not ready for supper,
I’m still filled up to my gills
With too much Thanksgiving turkey,
‘Taters, pumpkin pie, and squash,
But I’ll give it my best effort.
I’ll be no quitter, by gosh!
I’ve never been strong on history,
But there’s no way I can see
That the Pilgrims and the Indians
Had as good a day as me.