Horn of Abundance


On June 19, 1983 a young girl arrived in New York City from a communist stronghold of Eastern Europe. She had seen some pictures and some snippets of NYC in the movies, but NYC was a real-life museum for her.  Everywhere she looked there was something beyond her imagination.  When she looked up to the sky, she saw the most amazing architectural creations.  When she looked down and around her she saw both dirty people eating from the garbage cans on the street and stretch limousines longer than the buses in her native Romania.

She looked up and down the perfectly straight avenues and she saw people like she had never seen or could imagine, white and black and all shades in between, big and small, fat and skinny.

She was well educated, she thought, since she was fluent in five European languages, she was well-read familiar with the French and Russian classics, she also had a Masters in Engineering and she thought she was acquainted with American culture from Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, but she knew nothing about the real American culture and the National Holidays that represent America and the American spirit.

She arrived in June, and by July she had her first taste of a true American holiday: The 4th of July.  When she saw the Macy’s fireworks on Hudson River she thought she was in Paradise.  Her mind stopped thinking and she just absorbed the show and the joy around her.

There were few other national holidays that she could understand like Labor Day, Columbus Day, and Veteran’s Day.  Now everybody was preparing for Thanksgiving.

What is Thanksgiving? She asked.

Remember it was 1983 – there was no Internet, no Google search, just word of mouth.

She was told that “during Thanksgiving we thank God”.  This was unbelievable to her.  She came from a country where people were not allowed to even pronounce the word GOD and here in America they have a National Holiday to thank GOD???

Why do they call it Turkey Day? She asked.

She then learned the connection between giving thanks and the wild turkey, hearing the story of the Pilgrims and the Natives.  But she wasn’t moved by the story because she didn’t like meat, neither pork nor beef, neither chicken nor turkey.  So for many years she didn’t want to thank the turkey or cook one.

Who says you have to eat turkey? She asked, and nobody could answer.  She cooked fish each year for Thanksgiving until her children started going to school.

When her older son was in kindergarten she baked her first turkey because she didn’t want him to feel “un-American”.

Who says you have to eat turkey?

Now, I have the answer.

We Americans cook and eat turkey for Thanksgiving just the same as we bring in and decorate a Christmas tree at Christmas time.  It’s an American tradition that has to be kept alive for the generations to come.

One million people come to the United States of America each year to permanently live and grow old on the shores of our country.  I’m not talking about the people who come on temporary visas or foreign students who come to study here.  One million people each year get a green card and most of them have no clue why do they have to celebrate the turkey on Thanksgiving Day.

We all have the duty as Americans to help foreigners adopt our traditions and keep the American traditions close to heart so in one thousand years from now Thanking God keeps being an American National Holiday for the generations to come even for people who come from countries where the word GOD is not allowed, like China today.

When was the last time you explained to a foreigner our Thanksgiving tradition of eating turkey and yams and pumpkin pie to thank God for the blessing of our land and freedoms of our country?

We All Eat Turkey and Thank God on Thanksgiving Day!