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Remember to thank who?

November 23, 2021 at 10:31 a.m.

Hey! How about them Razorbacks? Oh, I know it's supposed to be 'those' Razorbacks but I've heard enough people use the 'them' word it must be alright -- one time anyway. It was just to wake me up to get in front of the old Smith-Corona (there's that daggum word again) to write this "Thanksgiving" 'cuff. Before getting into Thanksgiving, let's talk about how we've enjoyed these spring-type days for several days ... but that's for another time. So it's on to Thanksgiving.

No doubt you are planning a good Thanksgiving day with family when the whole bunch can get together and enjoy Grandma's cooking. At least that was what I remember from those good old days. Of course, getting to see everyone was a big part of it, and after the tube came along with the Macy parade it would fit in somewhere. But there really is more to giving thanks, isn't there? How about looking back a-ways and finding what else are Thanksgiving happenings.

How about sitting down with a pen and a piece of paper, any size. Just write on one side things of the past that you are personally thankful for. There could be a lot of good memories. Then flip the paper and scribble out things you wish had never happened or you hope never happen. Lay the piece of paper down and go about your day doing, perhaps, getting ready for Thanksgiving. Forget about the paper until some time -- maybe a week later you spot it. Read the items on both sides -- both of them -- aloud. Then think: What was I thinking? What did I leave off? Why did so-and-so? And then ... just be thankful!

Do you remember how Thanksgiving started? Wasn't it in 1623, about five hundred years ago when the Plymouth Colonists and the new-land natives got together and enjoyed sharing and caring and just enjoying a day? It was a day similar to the English celebration Harvest-Home. How about inching forward slowly, remembering other old-time happenings such as that it was in 1789 that President George Washington designated November 26 to be a national Thanksgiving Day. As time passed, presidents changed the celebration to the fifth Thursday of every November, which was backed up by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the fourth Thursday, which Congress officially made a National Holiday. Let me see, what will happen if we go back a little farther? Are there people or things we never remember or think about? Things we take for granted?

Question: Have we ever thought that we owe so much to the 56 people, the early American statesmen, who made it possible for all of us, everyone who is an American, to enjoy and celebrate Thanksgiving? Not only that but they are the ones who wrote and signed that document which is called "the most eloquent statement of the rights of people: The Declaration of America." We celebrate that on the Fourth of July even though it was sometime in August when these members of the Continental Congress signed that script document with Hancock's big signature at the top of the list. The list of signers includes two English natives, two from Ireland, two from Scotland, and one from Wales. We are familiar with many of the other citizens but many have been lost by most people. Those are the ones, possibly thousands, who were ready to fight for freedom.

Taking place at the same time were the meetings from memories of the thirteen colonies who were beginning to build a foundation for the new nation they were planning. Yes, that group includes many of the Declaration signers. Out of those meetings -- which, no doubt, involved many ideas, much arguing, much patience, and a generally gentlemanly group -- they finally brought forth what is now called "The Constitution of the United States." It was adopted in 1788. And if that wasn't enough, those famous ten amendments we call "The Bill of Rights" were added on December 15, 1791. Those thirty-nine representatives from all thirteen colonies surely are worthy of being thanked, not only on Thanksgiving but also every time a freedom, one of our many, is given us to enjoy.

That Constitution created three branches for the government of the new Republic. Jobs and responsibilities were outlined for each branch which was to lead the development of the now new nation. All three sometimes today seem to work against each other and sometimes possible regulations go before that third branch and sometimes decisions or lack of decisions can cause disruption or, well, you know what I mean. Don't you think that Constitution developing army deserves remembrance, at least once in a while like Thanksgiving, and a declaration of thanks from every citizen?

As we know, that Constitution has been amended quite a number of times, such as outlawing alcohol and later removing that amendment. That was done by a vote of the people, or rather by their states, using the document's method for finding answers to questions that sometimes are controversial. Sometimes laws or ideas come into play that justify amending that constitution. That sometimes is the only legal way for a problem to be solved ... and then changed the same way if necessary.

Those words are not meant to be political; they are simply the words and ways that questions can be solved in our democracy, and by the way, our republic is basically a democratic republic. If a person reads the Constitution several times, many times it is easy to change one's mind. The best answer is to ask, "What did those freedom-seeking country builders mean? Question? No. Question?

I'm hopeful everyone in Westside Eagle Observer country will enjoy a bountiful and happy Thanksgiving, or perhaps for the reader, the holiday has passed. Just, hopefully, our democracy-republic leaders will maintain or develop the answers to any problems, big or small. Hope the turkey and pumpkin pie were just like Grandma used to make.

'Till next time, go get 'em, Hogs!

Dodie Evans is the former owner and long-time editor of The Gravette News Herald. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Print Headline: Remember to thank who?

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