Thursday, November 26, 2015
20151126: AMERICAN THANKSGIVING - "THE PILGRIMS"
(My interpretation of the story aired on WPBS Watertown, New York on 2015-11-24)
Btwn 1630-1651, William Bradford led the pilgrims at Plymouth in an attempt to build a spiritual community in New England where they would live in peace and flourish. But when the Mayflower sailed away, they were left on their own.
Facing the harsh weather, raiding pirates, Indian attacks, dwindling food, fatal diseases, and other misfortunes, many perished and the remaining population barely survived. But a strategic alliance with some of the natives enable them to learn new skills and knowledge to live off the land and fight off hostile tribes.
Unfortunately with the arrival of new colonists at Plymouth and the establishment of new colonies along the eastern seaboard, starvation, conflicts and raids eventually took a strong toll on the relationship btwn the white men and the natives. By the time the Indians tried to eradicate the colonists off their ancestral land, it was already too late. The colonization of North America was unstoppable.
Williams Bradford's dream of a spiritual community and peaceful co-existence with their Indian neighbours did not materialize in his life time. Ironically, it was the survival news of the Plymouth pilgrims that opened the food-gate to the New World.
So without present day political bias, let's take a minute to absorb the story of the pilgrims and reflect on the meaning of Thanksgiving on Nov 26, 2015.
Attachment: A page from William Bradford's hand-written journal that had been lost for over 100 years, then was found in London, and eventually returned back to Boston.
* WPBS TV program / The American Experience series: http://video.pbs.org/video/2365609956/
* Wiipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Of_Plymouth_Plantation