News / USA

Americans Express Gratitude on Thanksgiving Holiday

Turkey is the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving meal
Turkey is the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving meal

Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day each year on the fourth Thursday in November. It is a time when families and friends gather to count their blessings.  The idea began in the 1600s when Pilgrims came to North America from England to start a new life.  After their annual harvest, they gave thanks and held a feast.  Today, many Americans follow that tradition.

In Hobe Sound, Florida, Jayne and Kirk Harness prepare food at their home for a Thanksgiving feast.  Jayne makes gravy from a family recipe.

"That was something my mom always did.  It was a Thanksgiving tradition in our house," she explained.

Her daughter, Kaileen, says it is fun cooking a meal. She especially likes pumpkin pie and says "every Thanksgiving table should have one."



Turkey is the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving meal.  A tradition in some households is removing the breast bone to make a wish.

"And one person takes one side, the other person takes the other side and you pull it apart," explained Jayne Harness.  "When you do you make a wish.  And whoever ends up with this little flat thing at the top is the one whose wish is granted."

Across the street, the Bachmans are also serving a Thanksgiving feast.  Lorene Bachman got up early in the morning to begin preparing the food.

"The other main ingredient in a Thanksgiving dinner is the cranberries," she said. "And we're going to boil them for five minutes, just until the skin pops, and then we're going to chill it, and that's going to be our cranberry sauce."

Lorene picks fresh herbs from her vegetable garden to put in some dishes.  Her husband, Bud Bachman, cuts open a coconut from a palm tree in their yard.  Lorene grates the sweet meat.  Coconut cake is a family tradition.  

"I am going to put it all over the cake and then put the frosting on," said Lorene.

As they sit down to eat, both the Bachman and Harness families pray and give thanks.  Kirk and Jayne Harness say they are grateful to be together on this special day.  

"Thanksgiving to me is being with family, thinking of all the things I've been blessed with in my life," Kirk said.

"We're fortunate enough to be together and have people," added Jayne. "You know some people don't have anyone."

Lorene and Bud Bachman share their Thanksgiving meal with Lorene's sister and brother-in-law Bige Combs.  He reflects on what he is thankful for.

"And I think of my children, and my grandchildren, and the way I've been blessed and the way God has looked after me in so many ways," Bud said.

"I am also thankful for my family and friends," added Lorene.  "And I have two beautiful daughters who I am thankful that are successful and healthy.  One's in Hawaii. One's in Washington, D.C.  Neither of them made it home for Thanksgiving."

Neighbor Kirk Harness says Thanksgiving also makes him appreciate the freedom he has in the United States.

"All the liberties, all the freedoms, all the things that we have started with the Pilgrims.  That's why they came here to get all their freedoms," he said.


These families say another good thing about Thanksgiving is that there are plenty of leftovers to enjoy later.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs