It was 397 years ago that 53 surviving Puritans in what would become Massachusetts gathered, with a number of neighboring Wampanoag Indians, to give thanks for having survived a brutal first year on a new continent, for a bountiful harvest that autumn of 1621 and for the assistance of those Native Americans in helping them survive.

Residents of the United States, circa 2018, generally have many more reasons to be thankful than did those early settlers we call Pilgrims. But, with our political leadership in a partisan standoff, our citizenry often just as bitterly divided, in a nation with too many homeless people, too much crime, too many mass shootings and far too many reports of abused and assaulted children, it's often easy to see a bleak picture, not reasons to be grateful.

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