And the People Were Thankful
by Valorie Quesenberry

On tumbling seas, a humble ship . . .

its destiny — the New World.

its masters — a swarthy crew.

its heart — a band of “pilgrims.”

The voyage was long, the storms harsh, the future unsure but the landng was made.

A great rock looming on a craggy shore, the promise of a free land, and a faith in Almighty God.

And the people were thankful.

By planted fields, a stalwart group . . .

of settlers — survivors, purposeful.

of natives — quick, resourceful.

of friends — feasting, playful.

The feast was welcome, the games friendly, the spirit festive,and the hearts were joyful.

Two peoples created by the same God and coming together on this fertile land of blessing.

And the people were thankful.

At revolution’s dawn, a tiny republic . . .

the leaders — strong, visionary.

the minutemen — determined, ready.

the people — sacrificing, resolute.

The battles were bloody, the conditions daunting, the soldiers untrained, but independence was won.

The infant that democracy birthed rose up in the strength of Providence and set the course of freedom.

And the people were thankful.

With divided hearts, a torn country . . .

the President — bold, resolved.

the soldiers — proud, stubborn.

the families — brave, grieving.

The fields were graveyards, the destruction tragic, the hatred a curse, but the great wound was closed.

The people battled out their difference, brothers again clasped hands and mended the landscape of a united country. And the people were thankful.

In Liberty’s gaze, a solitary immigrant . . .

the past — squalid, desolate.

the present — fearful, hopeful.

the future — bright, promising.

The journey has ended, Ellis Island awaits, a new home to be made, and opportunities abound.

It was worth the cost to stand on the soil of America, the land of refuge, the home of the oppressed.

And the people were thankful.

Under Old Glory, a nation stands . . .

for liberty — costly, sacred.

for justice — fair, equal.

for brotherhood — kind, merciful.

Foes have assailed her, wickness has assaulted her, centuries have tested her, and America squared its shoulders and set its strength to the task. God blessed her and through good and bad she came smiling through. And the people were thankful.

Around laden tables, an American family . . .

the scene — warm, loving.

the food — savory, plentiful.

the family — close, loving.

Harvest has come, the pantry is full, the relatives have gathered and the turkey is golden and tender. No hardship is so difficult that it will not be overcome by the ministry of this Thanksgiving Day. A blessing is breathed, hands are folded, heads are bowed, and hearts have come home. The feast begins. And the people are thankful.

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