I grew up next to the town there it all started, and I currently work there. Plymouth, Massachusetts is where the “rock” is, it’s where the Mayflower (II) is docked. There’s the plantation where actors dress up as pilgrims and natives and spend entire days living the lives of the 1600s. In fact you can go to the plantation and attend a Thanksgiving Feast. It’s also the town where Native Americans plan protests of this very day.
When you live right down the street from Plymouth, you take for granted the amazing history that has taken place here. You roll your eyes at tourists, avoid the usual “traps” and live your lives as if none of this is important.
But the truth is; it is important. Thanksgiving is a national holiday built inside this very town. All of its history, all of the people who landed in Plymouth Massachusetts and decided to settle here have an impact on every single American reading this post. And honestly, I don’t even know half of the history. I recognize the names on gravestones in Burial Hill, I’ve seen certain statues and plaques a thousand times and still I could not name the importance of the statues that were built.
It’s a day we take for granted as an extra day off, the day to eat until you explode. Thanksgiving is a day spent in stressful situations, baking until you drop or worrying about certain family members drinking too many glasses of egg nog and taking the opportunity to really speak their minds. I have friends living in other countries who are taking the time to celebrate their American holiday.
Today is a day to be grateful for everything you have. While you’re sitting at your kitchen table wearily eyeing the in-law who’s on the verge of finishing a bottle of wine or if you’re serving your family heaps of mashed potatoes and stuffing, remember to be thankful. If you’re spending your evening working in retail, avoiding the people you don’t like or serving strangers their dinners remember to be grateful.
Be grateful for the people who came before us. Be grateful for the struggles we didn’t have to endure. Be grateful for your family members, the people who took the time to carve that turkey for you. Be grateful you are able to feed yourself and taste your food. Be grateful for each breath you are taking today.
And most of all, be grateful for Plymouth, America’s Hometown, because without it, you would not be here today in this moment with the opportunity to spend an entire day (or even just carve out a minute of your time) to reflect on what you have.