We encourage family and friends to consider at their Thanksgiving Day gatherings the blessings many South Valley residents enjoy.


This editorial is the opinion of Gilroy Life

As family and friends gather together, there will be millions of people hitting the road across the country for Thanksgiving. If you’re among them, please drive or fly safely to your destination.

Let’s remember the meaning of Thanksgiving Day goes beyond just stuffing our stomachs and watching football games as we fall into a snooze on the living room couch. It’s a celebration of the harvest and other blessings of the past year. Americans believe their Thanksgiving is modeled on a harvest feast that took place 400 years ago in 1621. At that dinner English colonists — a group that has gone down in history as Pilgrims — and the Wampanoag people met in Plymouth for a community meal.

That origin Thanksgiving event began with the colonists going out “fowling,” hunting not for wild turkeys but geese and ducks. In one day they killed a large quantity of birds that would feed the colonists for a week. The 50 colonists were surprised by the sudden appearance of 90 Wampanoag Indians at the settlement’s gate.

Friendships were formed and during the next few days the two groups socialized at their feast. The Wampanoag contributed venison. The food served included fowl and fish, eels, shellfish, stews, vegetables, and beer.

The Plymouth settlement had few buildings and manufactured goods, so most people ate outside while sitting on the ground or on barrels with plates on their laps. The men fired guns, ran races, and drank liquor, struggling to speak in broken English and Wampanoag.

We encourage family and friends to consider at their Thanksgiving Day gatherings the blessings many South Valley residents enjoy.

Let’s appreciate our bounty during a time of a pandemic. Consider the natural beauty of Santa Clara County and its abundance of parks to enjoy. Let us also remember the freedoms that come from living in the American democracy — and we can always give special thanks to the men and women who serve and have served in uniform. And consider the many local nonprofits that enhance our quality of life.

With Thanksgiving Day, let’s enjoy an opportunity to join together as the Pilgrims and Wampanoag did — and remember we have much in common as members of the human family.

We wish you the happiest memories for your Turkey Day gatherings. And we hope the December holiday season brings you and your loved ones an abundance of joy and happiness.

Gilroy Life Editorial
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