The Meridian Star
It was 392 years ago, in 1621, when Plymouth colonists shared a feast with the Wampanoag Indians in what is believed to be one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations.
Some 242 years later, in 1863 in the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the feast as a national Thanksgiving Day to be held in November.
In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England carrying 102 passengers seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith, according to the www.history.com website.
"Throughout that first brutal winter, most of the colonists remained on board the ship, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy and outbreaks of contagious disease," the website states. "Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring."
The pilgrims established a relationship with the Wampanoag Indians, who taught them how to cultivate corn and live off the land.
In November 1621, a celebratory feast with the colonists and native Americans was organized in what would become known as Thanksgiving.
Facing religious persecution in England, the colonists braved unknown dangers, hunger and separation from their native land. Despite their hardships, they gave thanks.
In the midst of the bloodiest and most costly war ever fought on American soil, a national day of Thanksgiving was established that would become an American tradition honored by both those in the North and in the South.
During the Great Depression, two world wars and numerous military conflicts, Americans gave thanks.
We at The Meridian Star, hope that whatever your situation, you too have reason to give thanks.
We hope today is a day of relaxation for you spent in the company of family and good friends.
We thank the law enforcement officers, firemen, hospital staff and men and women of the U.S. military who are on duty today ensuring our safety and comfort on this holiday.
Most of all, we at The Meridian Star thank you, our readers, and wish you a happy Thanksgiving.