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Thanksgiving has always been  the beginning of the holiday
season.....the day after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the
year, Christmas music in every store, decorations on every lamp post in
town, houses decorated, the lights, the glitter and many put up
Christmas trees on Thanksgiving.

Traditionally, Thanksgiving isn't considered a religious holiday, but to
me it is.  It's more then the pilgrims landing on Plymouth Rock and
making friends with the indians and having them over for dinner one
night. It's about thankfulness for all we are, liberty,
freedoms of all types and most of all, the freedom to worship God in
our own way.

We are so very lucky to be living in America....another thing to be
thankful for, and from the moment the pilgrims landed on Plymouth
Rock and all through the decades, it's the hardships and stuggles those
before us endured to make our country what it is today, and it's
because of stuggle that I have choosen this song, "
Seeds Of Struggle".
The Thanksgiving holiday, celebrated each November in the
United States is known world wide as an American custom, but it's
roots extend  far back into human history.

The first Americans observed rituals and ceremonies to express
gratitude to a higher power for life itself. A Seneca Indian ritual, for
example, states, " Our Creator.....Shall continue to dwell above the sky,
and this is where those on earth will end their thanksgiving".  Another
quotation attributed to American Indians before Columbus is...."The
plant has it's nourishment from the earth and it's limbs go up this
way,  in praise of it's the limbs of a tree".

According to historical sources, the Pilgrims never held an autumn
Thanksgiving feast. The Pilgrims did have a feast in 1621, near
Plymouth, Massachusetts, after their first harvest. This is the feast that
people often refer to as "The First Thanksgiving". This feast was never
repeated, so it can't be called the start of a tradition, nor did the
colonists, or Pilgrims, call it a Thanksgiving Feast. In fact, to these
devoutly religious people, a day of Thanksgiving was a day of prayer
and fasting.

Nevertheless, the 1621 feast has become the model for the
Thanksgiving celebration in the Unites States. More then likely, this
first harvest feast was eaten outside, based on the fact that the
colonists didn't have a building large enough to accommodate all the
people that came. Native Americans definitely were invited guests,
and it is possible, even probable that turkey, roasted but not stuffed,
and  pumpkin in some form, found their way to the table. The feast is
described in a firsthand account, presumably written by the leader of
the colony,  Edward Winslow:

"Our harvest  being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling,
so that we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had
gathered the fruits of our labor. The four in one day killed as much
fowl as, with a little help besides, served the company almost a week.
At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms,
many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest, their
greatest King Massasoit, with some 90 men, whom for three days we
entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which
they brought to the plantation, and bestowed on our governor, and
upon the captain and others. And although it be not always plentiful
as it was this time with us, yet, by the goodness of God, we are so far
from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty".

From this we know that the feast went on for three days, "Indians", as
Native Americans were called then, and had plentiful food. In  addition
to the venison provided by the Native Americans, there was enough

wild fowl to supply the village for a week. The fowl, included ducks,
geese, turkeys and even swans

1621:  Pilgrims and Native Americans enjoyed a harvest feast in          
Plymouth, Massachu
setts. This feast may have become the model for
today's American celebration.

1630:  Settlers and colonists from many different continents brought
customs of days of prayer and thanksgiving, especially in New England,
where the first Thanksgiving of the Massachu
setts Bay Colony was
observed on July 8, 1630.

1777:  The first Thanksgiving of the new United States of America
occurred in 1777, when General George Washington, and his army, as
instructed by the Continental Congress, stopped in bitter weather in

the open fields on their way to Valley Forge to mark the occasion.

1789:  Washington's first proclamation after his inauguration as the
nation's first president in 1889 declared November 26, 1789 as

national day of "Thanksgiving and Prayer".

1800's:  The annual presidential Thanksgiving proclamations ceased

for 45 years in the early 1800's.

1863:  President Abraham Lincoln resumed the tradition in 1863.

November 26, 1941:  President Roosevelt signed the bill establishing

the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day because two
years out of every seven have five Thursdays in November. Some

states for the next 15 years celebrated on their own on the last
Thursday. Since 1956, the fourth Thursday in November has been
observed as Thanksgiving by all states.

Grateful hearts all gathered
In honor of this day,
To pray for peace and caring
We join hands as we say:

Thank you for the blessings
That we have all received,
Our heads all bowed in silence
Our thoughts of love perceived.

For those who are not with us,
For those in life we share,
We thank God for our bounty,
For the love that's always there.

Food to fill the table,
Peace to fill the soul.
With hearts that are so bountiful,
With words that will console.

These our special blessings
We offer on this day.
Love and peace with kindness
Within our hearts we pray.

To all the brave men and women who have risked their lives in the Iraq
War, we give our heartfelt thanks to you. And to the families of those
killed, may you find peace within yourselves and may the passing of
time ease your pain. Pray for World peace .

We must never let the passing of time diminish the memory of 911. To
all the survivors and family members of those that lost theirs lives,  I
truly hope that your pain has eased and you can get on with your lives.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope you have a
joyous and blessed day.....God Bless,

The name of this song is
"Seeds Of Struggle"