NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. –
Nearly 400 years ago, two different cultures, on the dawn of profound and permanent change, shared an autumn feast. The Pilgrims inaugurated Thanksgiving after surviving their first winter at Plymouth, Mass. Members of the Wampanoag American Indian tribal entity, roughly half of whom still reside in Massachusetts, played a lead role in this historic encounter, and they had been essential to the survival of the colonists during the pilgrims’ first year. General George Washington proclaimed the first national day of thanksgiving during the early struggles of the republic, and President Abraham Lincoln later revived the tradition following the darkest days of the Civil War, proclaiming the last Thursday in November a day of thanksgiving.
Each year on Thanksgiving, as we gather with families and friends, we give thanks for our many blessings. As we celebrate the holiday with our own traditions and customs, I ask that you keep our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines in your hearts and prayers. Remember both the bonds that tie us together and the sacrifices our troops make to defend our way of life. Remember to bring those away from their families into your gatherings so no one celebrates alone this holiday season! We are One Team, One Family!
The Sunday following Thanksgiving is always the busiest travel day of the year in the United States. As you travel, remember to be vigilant, drive defensively, watch your speed, use your seatbelts, and do not drive or let others drive while fatigued or under the influence of alcohol! We need everyone as we move into the challenges of the New Year!
Ms. Gonzales and I, and our families, wish to thank all of you for your dedicated support to the warfighter, and wish you and your families a happy and safe Thanksgiving.
RDML, SC, USN