My trusty computer didn’t come up with an answer when I asked it who H.W. Westermayer was. Perhaps someone reading this knows. I do know that when I read this quote of his, it resonated with me.
“The pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts… nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.”
I have often wondered at the celebrations on V-E Day when the Allies accepted Germany’s surrender or the song the Israelites sang at the Red Sea. In both cases, immense suffering led up to the day of victory and there were still bloody battles ahead.
The triumph at hand did not bring back anyone who had been killed or restore the health of the wounded. It didn’t fill the holes in people’s hearts and more sorrow was imminent.
Yet, like the Pilgrims, the people of those generations expressed words and feelings of gratitude to God. What is it about human nature that responds to ease and comfort with ingratitude, yet recognizes the need for thanks after passing through tough times? Each year, Thanksgiving gets erased a little more with revisionist history changing the meaning of the day and dreams of scoring low prices on wanted items pushing to the front of our consciousnesses. Let’s take a moment to picture those graves and the courage of those who came searching for a better life and willing to pay a dear, and often final, price to acquire it.