Thanksgiving: lost but not forgotten


Jean Leon Gerome Ferris

Depiction of the first Thanksgiving including Pilgrims and Native Americans sharing a feast.

Sophia Boyt, Staff Writer

     When Nov. 1 rolls around and the first snow falls onto the frozen, autumn ground, holiday spirit is in the air. Whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or any other section of beliefs (or lack thereof), sitting in a classroom with jolly and winterbreak-ready students is sure to lead to at least a little bit of a holiday spirit. Most of the time, it almost seems like everyone forgets one of the most important holidays of the year: Thanksgiving. Sure, students and teachers look forward to the extra break squeezed into the end of November, but the big holiday break, 13 days off in 2018, is the real show-stealer. Every year, Thanksgiving shows up out of nowhere for a day or two of feasting before falling off the grid until next November. However, since its recognition as a national holiday, though overshadowed, Thanksgiving perseveres as a holiday of gratitude and joy.

     Thanksgiving is a holiday first conceived back in 1621. Pilgrims and their Native American neighbors celebrated the Pilgrims’ first harvest with a three day feast. The Pilgrims supplied fish, cornand other harvested foods while the Native Americans brought five freshly caught deer just for the meal. For the Pilgrims, the term ‘Thanksgiving’ represented a solemn ceremony for giving thanks to God. The Thanksgiving we still celebrate today is a feast intended to bring people together to share thanks for our history. Students and professors at several colleges are describing Thanksgiving as a ‘national day of mourning.’ Debunkers of the common teachings on Thanksgiving say that Pilgrims stole food from Native Americans and desecrated their graves while slaughtering innocent Native people. In truth, the Pilgrims were happy to have the Native Americans and were eager to accept their help. Pilgrims were respectful towards both the living and the dead during their years as a small colony on the east coast of North America.

     Thanksgiving is an important holiday in American history, whether one interprets it as a day of mourning or a day of celebration. Controversy is obviously a large part of the U.S. and its past. Though Christmas, with its bright lights and sparkly decorations, may overshadow Thanksgiving every time winter rolls around, Thanksgiving still remains a vital holiday in the U.S. Remembering history is essential to preserving the future of every new generation of young students, ready to learn and grow the nation as a whole.