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Happy Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, a day set aside for Americans to pauseand count the many blessings we enjoy.

The story of the first Thanksgiving is a familiar one. ThePilgrims, who were members of the English Separatist Church, aPuritan sect, fled England to escape religious persecution. Theysailed first to Holland, but became disenchanted with the way oflife there. A stock company in London was hired to finance apilgrimage to America.

On Dec. 11, 1620, the Pilgrims set ground at Plymouth Rock. Thatfirst winter in America was devastating. By the beginning of thefollowing fall, 46 of the original 102 who sailed on the Mayflowerwere dead.

But, the harvest of 1621 was a bountiful one, and the remainingcolonists decided to celebrate with a feast. Included in thecelebration were the 91 Indians who had helped the Pilgrims survivethat first, hard year.

Although the Pilgrims endured more hard times, a day of thankshas been observed somewhere in this country every year since1676.

Enjoy the holiday Thursday. Enjoy the turkey dinner and the timespent with family and friends. Enjoy the football games.

Like the Pilgrims, we all are forced with hard times. It’s goodto have a day to pause — or take a step back from the bad — andreflect on the many good things in our everyday lives that aretaken for granted.

And, to give thanks for them.

Happy Thanksgiving.