Gazette-Mail editorial: Thoughts on Thanksgiving

On this yearly day of giving thanks, every American has plenty of reason to be grateful. Simply being a citizen of the world’s richest, freest nation gives Americans advantages that are the envy of the world.

As usual, we reprint some wise comments for the holiday:

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“Thanksgiving comes to us out of the prehistoric dimness, universal to all ages and all faiths. At whatever straws we must grasp, there is always a time for gratitude and new beginnings ... . One of life’s gifts is that each of us, no matter how tired and downtrodden, finds reasons for thankfulness: for the crops carried in from the fields and the grapes from the vineyard.” — J. Robert Moskin, “The Heritage of Judaism,” Look magazine, Oct. 5, 1965

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“Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody.” — Samuel Pepys, in his secret diary

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“Food for all is a necessity. Food should not be a merchandise, to be bought and sold as jewels are bought and sold by those who have the money to buy. Food is a human necessity, like water and air, and it should be available.” — Pearl Buck, “To My Daughters, With Love”

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“Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table.” — Shakespeare, “As You Like It”

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“The original Thanksgiving was the last time we were nice to the Indians.” — Charleston reformer Bettijane Burger

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“It was dramatic to watch [my grandmother] decapitate [a turkey] with an ax the day before Thanksgiving. Nowadays, the expense of hiring grandmothers for the ax work would probably qualify all turkeys so honored with ‘gourmet’ status.” — Russell Baker, The New York Times, Nov. 27, 1985

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“I declare that a meal prepared by a person who loves you will do more good than any average cooking, and on the other side of it, a person who dislikes you is bound to get that dislike into your food, without intending to.” — Luther Burbank, “The Harvest of the Years”

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“Ever since Eve started it all by offering Adam the apple, woman’s punishment has been to have to supply a man with food and then suffer the consequences when it disagrees with him.” — Helen Rowland, “A Guide to Men”

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“Heap high the board with plenteous cheer, and gather to the feast / and toast the Pilgrim band, whose courage never ceased.” — Alice Williams Brotherton

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“’Twas founded by the Puritans to give thanks for bein’ presarved from the Indyans, and ... we keep it to give thanks we are presarved from the Puritans.” — Finley Peter Dunne, “Mr. Dooley”

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“The custom of saying grace at meals had, probably, its origin in the early times of the world, and the hunter-state of man, when dinners were precarious things, and a full meal was something more than a common blessing; when a bellyfull was a windfall, and looked like a special providence.” — Charles Lamb

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“Some people always sigh in thanking God.” — Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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“Blest be those feasts with simple plenty crowned / Where all the ruddy family around / Laugh at the jests or pranks that never fail / Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale / Or press the bashful stranger to his food / And learn the luxury of doing good.” — Oliver Goldsmith, “The Traveler”

Funerals for Sunday, December 8, 2019

Board, Dencil - 3 p.m., Curry Funeral Home, Alum Creek.

Booher, Hughes - 3 p.m., Maranatha Fellowship, St. Albans.

Carpenter, Homer - 2 p.m., Hafer Funeral Home, Elkview.

Collins, Jacob - 2 p.m., Morris Funeral Home, Cowen.

Donahue-Moubray, Kathleen - 3 p.m., Haven of Rest Mausoleum, Red House.

Estes, Peggy - 2 p.m., Chapman Funeral Home, Hurricane.

Friel, Ruth - 1 p.m., Lantz Funeral Home, Buckeye.

Johnson, Marvin - 1 p.m., High Lawn Mausoleum, Oak Hill.

Linville, Vada - 2 p.m., Orchard Hills Memory Gardens, Yawkey.

Pettit, Michele - 3:30 p.m., Faith Baptist Church, Spencer.

Prue, Margaret - 2 p.m., Handley Funeral Home, Danville.

Scott, Robert - 3 p.m., Capital High School, Charleston.

Smith, Wanda - 3 p.m., Billy Hunt Cemetery, Kettle Road.

Sneed, Virginia - 2 p.m., Waybright Funeral Home, Ripley.