A day for giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, so I want to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a day to remember that we have so much to be thankful for. I can imagine the first thanksgiving celebration in the colonies. How much those people must have enjoyed the day knowing they had a bountiful harvest, that they were relatively safe, that they could practice their religious beliefs in a new land without persecution.

Lately I have become very interested in my heritage. I have spent time learning more about my family and where they came from and who they were. Fortunately my Dad has done a lot of research on this and is passing it on. This week we discovered something we had not known about our family. We are American Germans from Russia (that we knew). What we did not know was that in the late ’30’s and early ’40’s the Russians rounded up the Germans living in Russia and sent them to Siberia and other “Internment Camps”. We uncovered via the Internet a full listing of the people from the Village of Norka, where my family came from, that were sent to the camps. In that list we found 6 members of our family, direct descendents. We saw that they were all brutally killed in the camps in 1942. For refusing not to denounce their faith and because they were German.

So I think back to the Pilgrims in the new world, how they, like my family, fled a land in which they had rooted their families, raised kids, to come to a new land. A land they knew nothing about, were they had no homes, no jobs, no family. And they made it. They came to America seeking freedom. And they found it. Our family has been in the United States since the late 20’s. Germans from Russia. On Thanksgiving, I am sure they prayed for those left in Russia and gave thanks for the new found freedom in their new land.

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful that I have the opportunity to be here and to be part of my family.

Happy Thanksgiving…. and Happy Scouting!

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