TWH – Today is Thanksgiving, a holiday celebrated primarily in the United States, some US territories and Brazil. There are 15 other countries that celebrate a similar holiday at different times of the year. Canada celebrates it on the second Monday in October.
There’s a painful side to Thanksgiving that just needs to be acknowledged too: the reality of Native Americans and First Nations. In fact, the United American Indians of New England have recognized it as a National Day of Mourning and Protest since 1970.
For Native Americans, the myth of the first Thanksgiving given to most Americans reflects the deep disconnect between American ideology and the actual history of European treatment of Indigenous peoples. The myth is the revisionism of history that favored the colonists and, until recently, erased the lived reality of indigenous peoples in North America.
This year, many celebrations that were muted because of the COVID-19 pandemic have returned to normal. AAA forecasts record-breaking travel with 55 million people relocating this holiday weekend. Of these, 49 million will be drivers.
“Family and friends are looking forward to spending time together during this Thanksgiving holiday, one of the most travel-intensive in the past two decades,” said Paula Twidale, AAA’s senior vice president of travel. “Plan ahead and pack your patience whether you’re driving or flying.”
Air travel is also increasing, nearly 8% from 2021, with 4.5 million Americans flying. That is 330,000 more travelers than in the previous year. “Airport parking fills up quickly, so make sure you reserve a space well in advance and arrive early,” suggests Twidale. “Expect long TSA lines. Avoid checking one bag if possible to have more flexibility if flights are delayed or you need to reschedule.”
While many businesses are closed for National Day, not everyone has the day off. Many restaurant and retail workers are expected to be in their workplaces, as are healthcare workers, first responders, law enforcement, military, TSA, airline crew and other essential workers. Let us remember them and their work with gratitude.
Despite the “tridemic” of COVID-19, influenza and RSV, the Russian attack on Ukraine, inflation, mass shootings, the climate crisis with hurricanes, floods and fires, election campaigning and the uncertainty it brings, we have witnessed the amazing spirits of our fellow human beings who Helped refugees and neighbors, who provided shelter, protected others and shared the values of hospitality, duty, perseverance: health workers, grocers, school teachers, first responders, union workers, military service personnel and the list goes on.
We want to say a special thank you to you, our readers, and those who support our mission to bring news and perspective with a pagan lens. Thank you for reading TWH and for your generosity in keeping us here.
Wishing everyone a brush with gratitude today.