Thanksgiving 2022 is almost upon us.  Have you considered the meaning and history of this special day?  ER Precision Optical takes a look back…  Back to the beginning!

In previous weeks, we have been looking at current events that forecast a bold future in space and the newest technology.  However, holidays like Thanksgiving are special and deserve special attention.

Therefore, we at ER Precision Optical take a break from scientific developments.  Instead, we look at some of the special things that make Thanksgiving special.

Thanksgiving 2022:  Reasons For Gratitude?

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Do we have a reason for gratitude and a reason to feast?  On the one hand, looking back through history, it seems that most of our gratitude is realized after great trials such as those endured by the Mayflower travelers.

America and the world suffered and died during the recent COVID Pandemic.  However, we have overcome this tragic time.  And moreover, the COVID vaccine has given us control over this devastating disease.

Naturally, we cry for our losses.  But we cheer for our wins.  And we take pride in our soldiers who risk all to protect our freedom and security.

On the other hand, in modern times, and on a more personable basis, we see families pull together with a spirit of gratitude when a family member survives an accident or a crippling disease.

As Oprah Winfrey says, “Be thankful for what you have; You’ll end up having more.  If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

The First American Thanksgiving:  Look Back in History

Looking back to the adventures of early settlers in America, We get a different perspective on Thanksgiving.

The Mayflower sailed from Plymouth, England in September 1620.  There were 102 passengers and there was a real variety of travelers.

There were those who were seeking a new home where they could avoid persecution. They hoped to freely practice the religion of their choice.

There were also those seeking land and riches.  And still, others were coming to America to avoid debtors’ prisons. So it was a grateful group who participated in that first Thanksgiving Feast.

Pilgrim Arrival and Gratitude

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If the above reasons weren’t sufficient to be grateful, most survived the treacherous crossing from England to Cape Cod.

When those 102 arrived in America, they had to survive the freezing cold of winter with very little food and no shelter.  Conditions were so terrible that they were forced to stay on board the ship.

Here is an actual account of their adventure.  “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.

Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring. In March, the remaining settlers moved ashore.”

Thanksgiving 2022:  Looking Back at Another Grateful Time

The survivors must have been grateful, not only for their survival but the assistance from a local Native American.  Squanto was a member of the Pawtuxet tribe.  Squanto supposedly met and greeted the settlers in English.

It seems that Squanto was kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold into slavery and then later escaped.

He taught the newcomer Americans who had been “weakened by malnutrition and illness, how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants.”

Did you ever wonder what the first Thanksgiving Day feast was like? You might be surprised.  In the 1600s, the Pilgrims and Wampanoag had a menu that included venison, oysters, and of course “wild turkeys.”  Chief Wampanoag furnished the venison. The early English settlers also ate ducks, geese, swans, cranes, gulls, and even eagles.

Thanksgiving 2022 Family Time

Thanksgiving is Family Time.  School is out for the holiday and the turkey and trimmings are ready for Thanksgiving.  In many parts of our country:

  • Leaves are falling.
  • A chill is in the air.
  • In fact, some states have already had heavy snow.
  • And the stores are primed for Christmas.

Family and friends will soon arrive to share fellowship and a traditional Thanksgiving feast.  And then, there are football games.

Most of us know, in the back of our minds, that there is more to Thanksgiving.  It is a time to be grateful for our many blessings.  And it is a time to remember the reason the Thanksgiving Holiday exists.

Terrific Take-Aways for Thanksgiving 2022 and Beyond

Thanksgiving is a Time For Families to Share Warmth and to Remember the Blessings.

In his 1983 Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation, President Ronald Reagan reminded the nation of some of the historical moments that made “turkey day” worthy of being a National Holiday.

And he stated, “One hundred and twenty years ago, in the midst of a great and terrible civil conflict, President Lincoln formally proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving to remind those “insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God” of this Nation’s bounty and greatness.”

Again, we quote Reagan’s words, “The giving of thanks can be a true bond of unity among our people. We can unite in gratitude for our individual freedoms and individual faiths.

“We can be united in gratitude for our Nation’s peace and prosperity when so many in this world have neither.”

ER Precision Optical recognizes this bounty. We can only wish this attitude of gratitude would last more than one day of Thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving 2022!