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This year, at Thanksgiving, as you sit down to remember what you are thankful for, I cannot help but wonder if perhaps the people in Washington DC have forgotten the true significance of this annual day of gratitude. For it seems to me, all these thousands of miles away, in Australia, that you, like us, have increasingly lost hope and feel somehow that  " The New World " has become " The New World Order " 

Next year, things may well be completely different. After all, they seem to want to cut out the middle man and just eat ze bugs. I think that a turkey dinner is going to be a long distant memory, along with the reason Thanksgiving is celebrated in the first place. So let us go back in time to when it all started... 

When the first settlers arrived on the Mayflower in 1620 at Plymouth , they had hopes and dreams to found a Nation free of Religious persecution and constraints of the then King of England, King James I.

Their voyage was funded by The London Group of Merchant Adventurers.

They were bound for Virginia, but, due to stormy weather, they instead were forced to anchor in what is now Provincetown Harbour, Massachusetts. On November 11th, 1620, their intent was spelled out in the document known as the Mayflower Compact; written and signed by the passengers on board. This document laid out a basic form of life rules that would bind them.

An exploration party set forth to find a suitable place to create a new settlement and the settlers remained on board to suffer the scourge of disease. 

Pneumonia, scurvy and tuberculosis savaged the settlers and crew. All winter, the Mayflower stayed at anchor and, when the shocking diseases had run their course, only 53 passengers and only half of the crew had survived. (originally 102 passengers and 30 crew - and we talk about covid)

On March 21st, 1621, the survivors disembarked and moved into the simple huts constructed along the shore.

Because they landed in Massachusetts rather than Virginia, they felt less bound to the dictates of the financiers of the trip and declared that they "would use their own liberty; for none had power to command them" 

On November 22nd, 1621, "the Plymouth colonists and the local Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November. "  source

From this humble and tragic beginning, the creation of the United States of America began.

Over the course of the next 100 years, the settlers grew in numbers as ships brought more and more settlers to the New World and offered the poor and disenfranchised of the British Isles and Europe a hope that they could achieve something impossible in their countries of origin: hope and a future created from hard work and faith in themselves.


By 1765, the colonists had become American and were no longer refugees from their former lives. But trouble was brewing: the British Crown, still overlord to the American Colony, saw their hard work and diligence as an object of plunder. Taxes were levied without consultation with the new Americans. The Crown saw the Americans as easy prey and would not involve them in the governance of their new home whereby they could contribute opinion and insight. All that the British Crown wanted was the contribution of their money.

In 1773, the group known as the Sons of Liberty, sworn to silence in terms of their membership, staged the first real open protest to the taxation without representation. They destroyed a shipment of tea in Boston Harbour.

boston tea party

The British were quick to respond, shutting down Boston Harbour and in 1774, passed the Intolerable Acts so as to punish the Government of Massachusetts. On September 7th, 1774 the Massachusetts colonists responded with the Suffolk Resolves whereby they declared that they would form a shadow Government and boycott imported goods from Britain unless the British repealed the Intolerable Acts. The Americans formed the Continental Congress, formed by the States with the objective being to control resistance and seize power.

On April 19th, 1775, American Militia Forces besieged Boston in response to the British government and their Intolerable Acts.

The American War of Independence had begun.

The British were forced to abandon Boston.

In March 1776, the Congress had appointed Mr George Washington to command the Continental Army. On July 4th, at Independence Hall in Pennsylvania, the Congress declared Independence from Britain.

With the famous words that appear at the beginning of the Declaration of Independence, the People changed the course of history. 

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

"That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. .....................

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

 As Thomas Jefferson said sometime later "Neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, it was intended to be an expression of the American mind, and to give to that expression the proper tone and spirit called for by the occasion." 

Wars have been fought and lives lost to defend those unalienable to Rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Yet, here we are today, in 2023, ruled by Governments divided and media divided. We are ruled by opinions from tweets, facebook posts and lobby groups that seek to further drive wedges between people, groups of people, communities and families.

When you have fought and fought so hard, surely it is wrong to surrender that for which you have sacrificed so much?

As Joe Biden pardoned a Thanksgiving turkey, I could not help but reflect. He pardoned a turkey but still has men and women in solitary confinement from the 6th of January 2021 - no charge, no "pardon" all seems rather wrong, don't you think? 

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