This morning I rise and realize I’ve made 47 Thanksgiving dinners, 41 of them in this house. This day honors tradition so I use my father’s recipes and the pans my mother-in-law gave us almost fifty years ago.
Two onions and a bunch of celery simmer in two sticks of butter. Giblets and the neck simmer also. They’ll come together in the dressing and gravy. One kitty and I will split the liver, a once a year treat. When my mother was alive, that was hers.
The day is exquisite with blue sky and a high of 65 predicted.
In Heather Cox Richardson, I learn that Thanksgiving as we know it was introduced by Abraham Lincoln to heal the wounds of the American Civil War.
Thanksgiving is about unity, about coming together, though this year we are advised to do it virtually, and we will. I read that people who serve and have served in the military are upset with people whining over not being able to gather when they were often overseas for the holidays, many times year after year. This year we’re asked to come together, separately for the health and well-being of us all.
Heather Cox Richardson:
Lincoln established our national Thanksgiving to celebrate the survival of our democratic government.
Today, more than 150 years later, President-Elect Joe Biden addressed Americans, noting that we are in our own war, this one against the novel coronavirus, that has already taken the grim toll of at least 260,000 Americans. Like Lincoln before him, he urged us to persevere, promising that vaccines really do appear to be on their way by late December or early January. “There is real hope, tangible hope. So hang on,” he said. “Don’t let yourself surrender to the fatigue…. [W]e can and we will beat this virus. America is not going to lose this war. You will get your lives back. Life is going to return to normal. That will happen. This will not last forever.”
“Think of what we’ve come through,” Biden said, “centuries of human enslavement; a cataclysmic Civil War; the exclusion of women from the ballot box; World Wars; Jim Crow; a long twilight struggle against Soviet tyranny that could have ended not with the fall of the Berlin Wall, but in nuclear Armageddon.” “It’s been in the most difficult of circumstances that the soul of our nation has been forged,” he said. “Faith, courage, sacrifice, service to country, service to each other, and gratitude even in the face of suffering, have long been part of what Thanksgiving means in America.”
“America has never been perfect,” Biden said. “But we’ve always tried to fulfill the aspiration of the Declaration of Independence: that all people are created equal….”
Biden could stand firmly on the Declaration of Independence because in 1861, Americans went to war to keep a cabal of slave owners from taking control of the government and turning it into an oligarchy. The fight against that rebellion seemed at first to be too much for the nation to survive. But Americans rallied and threw their hearts into the cause on the battlefields even as they continued to work on the home front for a government that promoted the common good.
And they won.