A note from fellow writer Erick Messias:
America has mused and been sung by many great voices, from Whitman’s poetry to Springsteen’s songs, from Gershwin’s melodies to JFK’s oratory. Yet, each November, as winter knocks on the continent’s door, even the most out-of-tune singer, the most handicapped writer hears the call to pay homage to this amazing land.
Thanksgiving is the quintessential American holiday. It’s not bound by religious, ethnic, or racial affiliations and does not have equivalent in other countries. It’s also a time when we are reminded we are all immigrants in this generous land. Someone, a close or distant relative, took a boat, or a plane, seeking opportunities and freedom, and made that trip for each one of us, crossing oceans and continents to reach these shores.
Through out its history, America has been a welcoming land, a true beacon of hope for people of all creeds, including no creed at all, and all races. America with its beaches, its rivers, its never-ending prairies, its mountains; America with its swamps and deserts, its lakes and gulfs, has welcomed multitudes that sought these shores as safe harbor from injustice, oppression, and tyranny.
In this holiday season, take some time and thank that relative, that parent or great-grandparent, that five generation forgotten elder, who one day, possible while young and strong, took that decision, crossed the planet and made you an American, a native of this great country, a member of the greatest human adventure for the right to life, liberty and the pursue of happiness.
Erick L M de Messias, MD, MPH, PhD
Psychiatric Research Institute
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
May all of us remember this through the holiday season and always.