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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

America's Most Exotic Presidential Pets

From alligators to bears, the White House has been home to some unusual presidential pets over the years 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs