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The Truth Behind the Thanksgiving Holiday

Essay by   •  December 8, 2011  •  Essay  •  988 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,671 Views

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The Truth Behind the Thanksgiving Holiday

The annual thanksgiving holiday revolves around the celebration of friendship, gratitude, cultural acceptance, and the meaning of hard work. This means making decorative turkeys out of colorful construction papers, singing songs of thanks, and gathering together with the ones you love. Young children are typically taught how Pilgrims were greeted with open hands by the Indians. They taught each other their ways and learned from one another to accept their cultural differences. The gratitudes they exchanged with one another led to an enormous feast, full of joy and laughter. All these sugar coated myths implemented on young children are blinding them from the complete picture. Schools want to keep the story as simple as possible and present only the sweetest parts of history that America has to offer. Why, you may ask. Try having five years act as dead bodies laying on the ground or have them armed with heavy weapons pretending to threaten one another. This isn't the sweet picture you expected anymore. Doesn't this change your thought of Thanksgiving now? This is the disturbing truth that schools do not want to teach. But whats even more disturbing is how as they grew older, young adults remained blinded from the many facts their high school textbooks didn't offer on the whole picture of America's founding. The problem lies in the story and how it hasn't changed much from childhood to young adulthood. This error of omitting much of American history is keeping many young adults ignorant from their own history, not knowing much of what they are being patriotic for. The facts therefore, must be separated and laid out.

Students are normally taught how the Indians greeted the PIlgrims with open hands. Although partly true, it doesn't explain the full picture. How come the Indians didn't imposed a fight on white foreigners when they step foot on their land? Afterall, Indians were always engaged in warfare with other tribes over land properties. When the Pilgrims first arrived and landed on American soil they were greeted by a few tribemen not a whole tribe as typically presumed. In The Truth About the First Thanksgiving, Loewen explains what the pilgrims saw upon arrival: "The ground strewn with the skulls and bones of thousands who had died and none was left to bury them" (75). This reveals that mostly all the tribes were wiped out by the plague in America that had been taking place ever since one of the early arrivals into the New World as Christopher Columbus for example around the 1500's. The few that survived from this horrific disease that wiped out 90% of the total Indian population, were left on their own having no defense against the early european settlements. This is why the Pilgrims settled with such facility, not because the Indians greeted them with a warm welcome, but because the few that survived

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