You all know the story of Thanksgiving, and what it has traditionally meant for Americans. But it's really so much more than just pilgrims and natives getting together for a meal. It's a celebration of the bounty they produced. America was just a harsh wilderness until men shaped it into this beautiful and bountiful land we call home. They didn't just live off the land and accept whatever they could scrounge from nature. They worked the soil to bring forth food that wouldn't have existed before. Later, they built the machines to work the soil. Each generation added something important to make life here easier, and with each addition, our bounty grew.
Back in the days of the pilgrims, the average lifespan was between 30-40 years. Today, the lifespan of the average American is double that. Most Americans have plenty of food to eat. Most of us have shelter and clothing - that we didn't have to make ourselves, btw. We don't have to worry about cholera or typhus or polio or rickets or a hundred other diseases that crippled and killed our forefathers. And most of us can read, btw. A skill very few of the settlers of this great nation could brag about.
So today, and every day really, I'm thankful for the advances mankind has made. I'm thankful that because so many men worked so very hard for so damn long, I have a warm home, electricity, the internet, a fat turkey waiting for me in the fridge... Hell, I'm thankful for the fridge. (Because salmonella is horrible thing.) I'm thankful for the immunizations, and medications, and surgeries that have helped keep me and mine alive. And I'm thankful to all the men who have made these things possible.
As I sit down to my sumptuous feast, I'll be thinking of those who came before and brought me the possibility to have a feast at all. So, please join me in lifting a glass to these great men. May we live to add our own accomplishments to the sum of them all.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.
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