It doesn’t feel like much of a Thanksgiving this year. Lots of chairs are empty, either permanently, as we are now counting our coronavirus dead in the hundreds of thousands, or temporarily, as we are staying away from our loved ones to keep the virus at bay.
Heather you are at the top of our list of what we are grateful for this past difficult, daunting year. Many thanks to you, your intellect, your ability to frame what you know in teachable stories and most of all your willingness to share your time and energy. We are so grateful! The Lincoln history is invaluable and enlightening and why am I just now learning these details? Sigh. I just didn't know what I didn't know, which is a lot!
It seems appropriate this year that the Lincoln Project has done an ad for Thanksgiving. This is a beautiful ad and I encourage everyone to watch it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyOlj5NoJbk I particularly like that they chose Colonial Vindman as the representative of Patriots we should thank. These disenfranchised Republicans did some excellent ads that helped Biden get elected. I, for one, would like to see the Lincoln Project become the Lincoln Party and split from what has become of the Republican Party. Maybe it could even be the moderate and inclusive party that I dream of, a party of synergy respecting each persons voice and egalitarianism. May we all count our blessings that we still have a democracy this Thanksgiving but do note that the slaveholders are still consolidating their wealth through kleptocracy. Money is not free speech, but it is legalized corruption under Citizens United. We need a new definition of uniting citizens with the goal of achieving true social justice for all.
Dear Heather, having lost my wife to cancer this year makes these days feel so empty. Your words have carried me through many of the days since Rita died. Facing the challenges of this year with all the looming election carried left me close to despair on many days. Your posts have played an enormous role in helping me remember what is crucial and to turn toward hope. While I am filled with gratitude for all that has been done for and given to me over these months, using the word happy still feels too hard. Today's post has been tremendously helpful. Thanksgiving in the face of loss is exactly what I need to remember. Bless you and thank you.
I had prided myself on the fact that I taught my son to question authority respectfully. However, in the past 4 years, I found myself not just questioning authority but giving up hope that I would ever see authority in this country worthy of respect. In May, a friend suggested I read one of your letters. I did. And my entire outlook changed. Your talks provided me with historical perspective previously lacking in my education. I learned that we had been through similar low points and managed not just to survive them but to take steps to prevent future occurrences. Sometimes we succeeded, other times not so much. Today, I give thanks for my family, our health, our livelihoods. I also give thanks for someone whom I never met, yet whom I’ve cheerfully invited into my home on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. Happy Thanksgiving.
What struck me most from today's Letter was the notion that immigrants would be streaming INTO a country in the midst of its Civil War. Oh, that crazy America and her little surprises. Bless her heart. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
One of the things I am most thankful for this year is that I found you, Professor Richardson....you helped me keep my sanity through an insane year (which we aren't done with yet). Thank you for putting things in context and helping make sense of the craziness. Happy Thanksgiving, Professor Richardson from a grateful follower.
The rescue of our democracy by those who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris is the most over-the-top reason for thanksgiving that I can imagine.
I can not thank you enough for writing on the subject of Thanksgiving! Since you touched on it’s origins over the past few days, I have wanted to know the exact events that occurred to create this holiday. I wanted to share this truth with my grandson today. Wouldn’t it have been nice if the true history Of Thanksgiving had been taught in school?
Your teachings are invaluable! And as I read your recitations of what happened in the past I can relate them so easily with current events. It is like an echo that hasn’t finished. Hopefully, the vibration will smooth out on the side of what’s good and right, the equality of all humans.
I wish you and yours, as well as all my fellow readers, a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Happy Thanksgiving morning, all!! "They won," Dr. R says. Let today be a win for us all. On a personal note, my two estranged sisters each reached out to me to offer their wish that I have a Happy Birthday and Thanksgiving. Not the entire nation, but a win one step at a time.
Happy Thanksgiving to you Professor Richardson and to all of you who share these pages.
I was writing to my best friend this morning, in answer to his letter of holiday best wishes. His, like ours, is a pared-down version of what it normally is, but these thoughts came to me, about how much we have to be grateful for, and to work for. I wanted to share them with you.
Thanksgiving Day 2020
Those of us who are alive and well, have cause to be grateful.
Those of us who can enjoy the company of family, have cause to be grateful.
Those of us with friends and family with whom we can speak and share our love, have cause to be grateful.
Those of us who have lost someone dear to them, deserve our love.
Those of us who serve on the front lines fighting to save our lives, deserve our gratitude and support.
Those of us who are alone, deserve our attention.
Those of us who are suffering this very moment, deserve not to be forgotten, to be loved, to be touched.
Those of us who are vulnerable, deserve our commitment to containing this virus and preserving their lives.
Those of us who are hungry, without shelter, or fearful of losing that which they have, deserve our care, deserve to know their government is doing everything within its power to lessen their suffering. And they deserve respect – respect that is manifested in action that demonstrates the dignity of each individual, by providing them with the means to feed and shelter themselves.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all! A true celebration of the triumph of democracy made all the better now that we have something to look forward to after 4 dark years. At last decent people who care for, and respect the equality of, all are back in charge.
Last night, I --with much help from family and friends-- finished writing 250 postcards to Georgians, urging them to go vote for Warnock and Ossoff. A small, but I hope useful effort.
I was struck by the diversity of names to whom we were writing. There were many names that I think of as particularly Southern, like Cedric, Chandler, and Chrystal Jane; but there were also many names loved by the Black community, like Danae, Laneesha, and Courtné. And then, names from other countries! From Sigrid to Paulo to Achmed, Lu Wan, Eduardo, Javier, and Srivasta ---I was amazed and delighted. With all our faults, America remains the most diverse and tolerant country I've ever lived in, visited, or know about. And yes, tolerance is the virtue we still need huge amounts of work on, but I'm thankful we have the opportunity to practice it here and look forward to our getting closer to that ideal. A good Thanksgiving to all, and Heather, thank you particularly for creating this kind and articulate community of searchers after a more perfect union.
It is my deepest wish that President Biden will set a national day of recognition and mourning, for all those who have sacrificed so much during this pandemic and for those who have lost their lives to the virus. For families bereft, for all the creativity and productivity that will never be realized, for all those empty seats at our Thanksgiving tables this year. Recognition for the bus drivers, meat cutters, grocery clerks, election workers, everyone who has worked despite the risks to keep society functioning. And for our heroic medical professionals, many working past the point of exhaustion in the struggle to keep their patients alive.
Bruce Springsteen in a interview recently talked about how looking back is our springboard to looking forward by giving context. Thank you for our daily context. Be safe.
Amongst many things to be thankful for are your wonderful, informative and uplifting posts, a beacon of civility and articulacy. Thank you!
I am writing to thank you sincerely for the work you have done with your letters. You have brought us the historical precedents behind today’s news, drawn parallels that enlightened us, encouraged us when the world seemed too dark to manage, gave us permission to take a day off every now and then, motivated us to press on and work harder, and reminded us why we love this imperfect, fractured nation of ours. Thank you.