Give thanks to the Lord.
   —1 Chronicles 16:8

On September 6, 1620, the Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, England, with 102 passengers. “God sifted out a hundred and two seeds from the civilization of Europe to plant a new nation on these shores,” wrote Longfellow.

A year later, forty-nine of the 102 were dead—victims of malnutrition, disease, and exposure to harsh New England weather.

Even so, that autumn the Pilgrims celebrated their first harvest in the New World with a three-day festival of thanksgiving.

Life was hard, but they envisioned a bright future; in this new land, they were free to pursue their dreams. For this, they gave thanks.

Today, we, the richly-blessed descendants of those immigrants, lift our voices in praise and our hearts in gratitude.

God bless America, Land that I love . . .
God bless America, My home sweet home.
—Irving Berlin

A thankful heart is the father of many virtues.

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