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The Meaning of Thanksgiving

Hello and welcome back to kenbaxter.com!  I am Ken Baxter and it is Wednesday, November 27th, 2013 right here in sunny Las Vegas.  This is my third blog and today, especially, with the holiday shopping season upon us, I want to urge everyone to increase their patriotic spending – buy MADE IN THE USA products and support our economy!  With that, dear readers, we have come upon one of my favorite holidays of the year – Thanksgiving!

Let me begin by sharing a little bit of history about the origin of Thanksgiving.  As you may already know, Thanksgiving is an American holiday that dates all the way back to the early 1600’s.  In September of 1620, the Mayflower vessel, carrying 102 passengers from Plymouth, England, arrived on American soil near what is now known as Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  They had quite a treacherous journey – it took them sixty-six days to reach our shores, but it was well worth the trip because in England, at that time, there was no religious freedom.  In order to practice their faith freely; the Pilgrims, as they are now commonly known, had to travel all the way across the ocean to become truly free!

In October of 1620, the Pilgrims began to establish a village across the Massachusetts Bay, naming it Plymouth, after the town in England from where they came.  Throughout their first winter in Plymouth, the settlers suffered many contagious disease outbreaks, starvation, and severe weather exposure…only half of the original 102 members survived.  Finally, when winter began to fade and spring came to renew the land, they received a welcome visit from the Native Americans who were kind enough to teach the Pilgrims how to plant and harvest corn, catch fish, and drain sap from maple trees, among many other valuable survival lessons.

Over the next year, the Pilgrims prospered.  Their first corn harvest was successful and they were able to live off the land on their own, all because of the lessons they had been taught by the Native Americans.  In November of 1621, the Governor of the new colonies declared that there would be a celebration – a feast – to honor their neighbors and give thanks for all they had accomplished and for what they had learned from their Native American friends – and so from that first celebration, Thanksgiving Day was born.

In modern day America, many people associate Thanksgiving with an abundance of food – pies and cakes, turkey and stuffing, cranberry sauce and yams, and watching football games on TV, and sometimes even napping after a long day spent eating and socializing with family and friends!  While those are all wonderful things to cherish on Thanksgiving Day, it is important to remember our Forefathers and the true meaning of Thanksgiving – let us never forget our humble beginnings here in America, the land of the free and the home of the brave!  Let us remember to celebrate the freedoms we have here in the USA that many other countries do not, and the ways we, as Americans, can truly prosper – by working and living together in peace and harmony, reaping and sowing the land, sharing in our bounty, cherishing our blessings when we have, and helping one another when we do not – those are the reasons we truly must give thanks!

Over the holiday weekend, I’d like to point out just one last thing I hope you will reflect on and take to heart.  Once the feast is over and the day is done, many people begin shopping for gifts and holiday deals on the day after Thanksgiving, commonly referred to as “Black Friday”.  The sales and discounts at your local mass merchandise store are no-doubt very tempting and budget-friendly, especially if you have many little ones asking for the latest toys and gadgets!  I urge you, however, when you are picking up the latest toys, trinkets, sweaters, and tools off those holiday- decorated shelves take a moment and notice where those items are made.  You will find, maybe to your surprise, most products in the big retail stores nowadays are foreign made!  This is truly a detriment to our economy and to our country as a whole.  We have so many people here is the USA that need and want jobs but cannot find them due to so much of our industry and manufacturing being transferred overseas because of what is perceived as cheap labor, storage, equipment, and raw material costs.  If we Americans purchase American made goods, spending our hard-earned dollars patriotically, and in turn, increase our domestic spending by just five percent, we can return nearly 2 million jobs to American citizens, and thus break the cycle of poverty for those who have been forced, due to lost or negligible wages, to rely on government assistance to make ends meet.  Please, please, please think of that when you see a “Made in China” label on your holiday sweater and instead try to find something similar that says “Made in the USA”.  Every little bit helps!

In honor of our dedication to America and American made products, my lovely wife Linda and I created the Made in America non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and strengthening the return and retention of American jobs in the manufacturing sector in an effort to reignite the economic recovery of this country.  I urge you to please BUY AMERICAN this holiday season and increase the quality of our goods AND the number of jobs available to our families, neighbors, and friends.  What a wonderful way to truly give thanks for being AMERICAN!

If you are interested in learning more about bringing manufacturing back to the USA, creating American jobs, and taking part in our mission to re-invigorate our economy through domestic spending on American made goods, please check out our non-profit organization’s website: http://www.mianv.org/.

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