Friday, November 22, 2013

Proof Of The First Thanksgiving

Before the arrival of the Pilgrims and Puritans the Wampanoag people gave thanks, feasts, and ceremonies for the Creator's gifts of a successful harvest, hope for a good growing season in the spring, and for other good fortune such as the birth of a child.

In 1621, after a year of sickness and scarcity the Pilgrims along with the Wampanoag tribe, gave thanks to God and celebrated His bounty with feasting and celebration.  To these people of strong Christian faith this was not merely a feast, but a joyous outpouring of gratitude.  E.W. Winslow, a Pilgrim and later Governor of New England who had lost his wife to the elements in the new land, wrote a letter to his friend in England saying, "Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might, after a special manner, rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors.  They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week.  At which time, among other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming among us, and among the rest their greatest king, Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted; and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation, and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others.  And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty...These things I thought good to let you understand that you might on our behalf give God thanks who hath dealt so favourable with us."

In 1622, Winslow's letter was printed in a pamphlet that historians commonly call Mourt's Relation. Winslow's and William Bradford's accounts were written between November 1620 and November 1621. They described in detail what happened from the landing of the Pilgrims at Cape Cod, their exploring and eventual settling at Plymouth, to their relations with the surrounding Indians, up to the first Thanksgiving and the arrival of the ship Fortune.  Mourt's Relations was first published in London in 1622 by George Morton. This publication of the first Thanksgiving was lost during the Colonial period and rediscovered in Philadelphia around 1820.  Because of Winslow's letter historians have long contended that it was the first Thanksgiving celebrated in America.

The holiday changed as the strictly held customs of the Puritans of the 17th century evolved into the 18th century's more cosmopolitan New Englander.  By the 1700's the emotional significance of family united around a dinner table over shadowed the civil and religious importance of Thanksgiving.  As the people began to migrate westward New England's holiday traditions spread to the rest of the nation.  It was not until 1941, under the leadership of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Congress established the 4th Thursday of November as the national Thanksgiving holiday.

We at National Write Your Congressman wish you all a very blessed Thanksgiving 2013.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Veterans Day - Wounded Warrior Project

On this Veteran's Day, I have chosen to honor Wounded Warrior Project and congratulate them on their 10th Anniversary of service to our nation's wounded servicemen and women.

Almost everyone remembers where they were when our nation was attacked on September 11, 2001. In the midst of overwhelming tragedy, loss of life, and all the ensuing fear and chaos many brave men and women stepped forward to join those who were already serving in the United States military to join the fight against terrorism.

As the war progressed several veterans and friends, moved by stories of the first wounded service members returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq, started providing backpacks with various comfort items to wounded service members. This was the beginning of the Wounded Warrior Project.  Over the last 10 years, WWP has developed 19 programs and services and provided assistance to injured service members with their visible and invisible injuries, like post-tramatic stress disorder (PTSD), at no cost to the warrior. They currently have more than 35,000 warriors and 4,100 family members registered with access to WWP's "high-touch" and personalized services.

While a number of veterans' service organizations assist post 9.11 veterans with the challenges of today, Wounded Warrior Project offers programs to help members with both their immediate and long-term needs. The programs and services range from mental health, economic needs, physical health and wellness to engagement with other warriors. The programs help injured service members work through more immediate challenges and establish a foundation for a lifetime of success.

WWP has also launched services and pilot programs that address some of the toughest issues surrounding long-term care for the most severely injured. The Independence Program works with local rehabilitative service providers to assist profoundly injured warriors in regaining the ability to perform the types of daily tasks that most people take for granted. The Long Term Support Program is in a pilot phase and was crafted to ensure that the most severely injured warriors will have access to quality care after their family member/care giver is no longer able to provide care.

The mission of Wounded Warrior Project is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP's purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the publics' aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. 

I became a member of the "Advanced Guard" of WWP two years ago, and I have found it to be an honest and honorable group who want nothing more than to just help our wounded servicemen and women.  If you are looking for a truly service-oriented organization to contribute to, please consider Wounded Warrior Project.  To learn more, visit  You can also "Like" their Facebook page and receive updates and inspiring stories at