To the Editor:
In 1620, some of my ancestors and other likeminded individuals chose to bear the dangers of crossing the Atlantic Ocean aboard the Mayflower to find a new life in this land. The decision was met by many hardships, but these people were determined. Shortly after their arrival off the coast of Cape Cod, half of the Mayflower passengers had perished, affecting every family aboard. Their belief in God was evidenced by the writing of William Bradford, first governor of the Plymouth Colony. In the Mayflower Compact, Bradford said that the Pilgrims founded this colony for the purpose of “the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith.”
By 1776, the impact of those early settlers became a useful tool when our forefathers wrote the Declaration of Independence and eventually the Constitution. Thousands of the colonists, including some of my own ancestors, showed amazing patriotism and bravery as they fought to defend these colonies and the right to have the many freedoms we have since enjoyed.
Although our personal sacrifices may not begin to match those experienced by our patriotic ancestors and forefathers, we are all benefactors of the freedoms resulting from their declarations, battles, and victories. Individuals from around the world envy what we possess; and year after year, thousands upon thousands of them have followed the necessary steps to become legal citizens here. It makes no difference that their ancestors did not play a part in obtaining the freedoms that these immigrants inherit. They know they have obtained something of great value, and they cherish it just the same as anyone else whose forefathers did personally experience such things as deprivations, bloodshed and even death.
It is unthinkable that this great prize sought after by millions of people for hundreds of years should be ignored, diminished in value, or obliterated. The wisdom of the ages speaks loudly. May we defend and honor the truth in our history, may we remember the fortitude of our forefathers, may we thank God for the freedoms we have in this great land, and may our celebration on Thanksgiving Day include these thoughts and prayers.