Thanksgiving: Caring, Daring, and Sharing

Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, my wife and I have been busy preparing for the occasion.    I am an eager goer because I know my going provides my wife with the ingredients she needs to be the skillful “doer” in the kitchen.  She prepares the list and I go for turkey, ham, yams, apples, or whatever she needs to make one of her delicious meals.

I also think about goers and doers in the context of our Forefathers and their many sacrifices.  Daniel Webster commended the sacrifices of these faith-filled and hardy Pilgrims when he said: Our fathers were brought here by their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of their society, and to diffuse its influence through all their institutions, civil, political, or literary.

Webster’s words are the “secret sauce” that Kirk Cameron wished for when he began a project that focused on the Forefathers Monument. The sacrifices of these hardy souls is memorialized in this monument that stands an imposing 86 feet high and weighs 180 tons.

Lady Faith is at the center of the monument, and she is seen with her right hand lifted towards heaven as her left hand holds the Bible of the Pilgrims, the Geneva Bible.  

Standing 36 feet tall, Lady faith reminds us of the perseverance of our Forefathers.  Their faith was the source of their strength as they struggled to realize the liberties and freedoms they envisioned; it sustained them and guided through times of heartaches and trials.

Daniel Webster also reminded people of the need to, develop the resources of our land, call forth our powers, build up its institutions, promote all its great interests, and see whether we also, in our day and generation, may not perform something worthy to be remembered.

When Webster spoke of his day and his generation, I think he was comparing it to what the Forefathers had done.  Webster knew that if he and his generation were going to doing something worthy to be remembered, their lives had to be more than a selfish existence.

Isn’t this the message of Thanksgiving:  Sacrifice, remembering and giving thanks?  The Pilgrims were not content to just live; they wanted religious freedom for both themselves and future generations. They cared for others and dared for others, so they could also share with others.

…For this I give thanks.

National Monument to the Forefathers

When I reach this point on the calendar each year, my thoughts turn towards Thanksgiving.  I must confess that I think of turkey, candied sweet potatoes, and pie.  More accurately I should say pies—cherry, pecan, and apple.

I think about more than just food.  I also think of the sacrifices of our Forefathers.  Daniel Webster commended the sacrifices of the faith-filled and hardy Pilgrims when he said: Our fathers were brought here by their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of their society, and to diffuse its influence though all their institutions, civil, political, or literary.

The sacrifices of our Forefathers are memorialized in the Forefathers Monument.   This monument is the largest granite structure of its kind in America. It stands an imposing 86 feet high and weighs 180 tons.

It is appropriate that at the center of the monument onlookers see a classically draped female entitled Faith. Her right hand is lifted towards heaven and her left hand holds the Bible of the Pilgrims, the Geneva Bible.  She stands 36 feet tall, and she is posed with one foot on Plymouth Rock.

Lady faith reminds us of the faith of our Forefathers.  Their faith was the source of their strength as they struggled to embrace the liberties and freedoms they envisioned.   Their faith sustained them and guided through times of heartaches and trials.

Let me share another quote from Daniel Webster:  Let us develop the resources of our land, call forth our powers, build up its institutions, promote all its great interests, and see whether we also, in our day and generation, may not perform something worthy to be remembered.

When Webster spoke of his day and his generation, I think he was comparing it to what the Forefathers had done.  I wonder:  How does the commitment of our present generation look in comparison?

When you give thanks on Thanksgiving, remember to thank God for the generation of our Forefathers.