In 1621, the Pilgrims gave thanks for a bountiful harvest. A collectivist form of agriculture, compounded by a brutal winter, led to starvation and death for many of America’s newest settlers. However, through Divine providence, the remaining Pilgrims altered their form of agriculture and survived their first winter with help from Squanto, Massasoit and others members of the Wampanoag tribe.
To give thanks for God’s grace and for the generosity of the Wampanoag tribe, the Pilgrims gathered for a feast, which we now recognize as the First Thanksgiving. Despite initial struggles, the bountiful harvest blessed the Pilgrims beyond their belief.
In 2013, while our struggles may not look the same as the Pilgrims, the spirit of Thanksgiving is very much the same. Each year, we gather together to share a feast with loved ones. In doing so, we reflect on the many blessings we have received over the past year.
Thanks can be given for any number of things: the completion of schooling, a new job, positive news from the doctor, reuniting with loved ones returning from military, etc. Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks and praise for each of these blessings and more.
This year, I have been very fortunate and have so much to be thankful for. First and foremost, I am thankful for my wife and my children. Sharing the holidays with my family is so meaningful. Second, I am lucky to have a great job in my field of study. I have been very blessed in that regard. Third and most recently, I was very humbled last month to be chosen to serve as the new State Representative for House District 85. Serving in this capacity has allowed me the opportunity to give back to the community in a way I never dreamed. I am extremely grateful for all of these things and many more, as together they have made for a tremendous year for me and my family.
As you gather together to share food and fellowship with your loved ones this year, I encourage you to reflect on the true spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday. While I enjoy a turkey dinner followed by our traditional family football game, it is very important to look back on the past year and give thanks for the important things like faith, family and freedom. The celebration of those blessings keeps alive the sacred tradition the Pilgrims began at Plymouth Rock so many years ago.
Rep. Cox serves a portion of Allen County.