News / USA

Americans Reflect on Thanksgiving Blessings

Millions mark national US holiday on Thursday

Mone and her daughters are grateful for family and all the trimmings of a happy life.
Mone and her daughters are grateful for family and all the trimmings of a happy life.

Multimedia

Audio

Thursday, Nov. 24, is Thanksgiving Day in America, a day set aside both for good eating and for gratitude.

On an unseasonably warm day in New York’s Foley Square, Mone and her two young daughters, Jasiyah and Damayah, are busy preparing for the holiday.

"This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for having my own Thanksgiving, my first family dinner that I am cooking - and that my mom isn’t cooking at all,” says Mone, who admits to being a bit nervous. “I hope I don’t burn anything or overheat anything, that it all comes out good.”

Mone teaches her two daughters to be appreciative of what they have.  

“I’m grateful for God for making the world, that I am alive," says Damayah, "for the food I have, for the clothes I have on my body, for the place I stay in, and for my mom.”

Parker and Paulina are thankful to be getting married this holiday weekend.
Parker and Paulina are thankful to be getting married this holiday weekend.

At the city clerk’s office down the street, Paulina and Parker are obtaining a license so they can get married over the holiday weekend. They are thankful for true love and more.

“Everything is going to be peachy,” the red-headed bride says with a grin. "I am grateful for this guy.”  

Her groom takes a more cosmic approach. “I am grateful for the fact that the sun shines and the sky is blue and the earth is at the specific point where it needs to be to sustain life, and the solar system and the galaxy," he says. "Of all the epochs to be born, I am here right now with this beautiful woman, exactly where I am supposed to be.”

Nearby, a man named Vincent, who says he is homeless, is not where he’s supposed to be.

"I was evicted four weeks ago, I feel, illegally. Nevertheless, even though there are many, many devils out to put you down and thwart you, there are equally as many angels willing to help you.”

The angels Vincent refers to are people like the bus drivers who let him board free of charge or at half price, or those who come up to him offering free food. “I will be eternally grateful for that,” he says. “I’ve been able to persevere with the help of the human spirit.”

Ronald - who works at a nearby homeless shelter and who was once homeless himself - is able to persevere thanks to the doctors who recently rid him of excruciating chronic back pain. “So I am grateful I came out of surgery a success.”   

A few blocks away, it is simple youthful freedom that a bicyclist named Mike is thankful for.

“I’m just grateful that I have a job and be able to do what I do," he says. "I have a little bit of money and I do whatever the hell I want on the side.”   

A woman named Charles expresses her gratitude in somewhat more religious terms.

“What am I grateful for this Thanksgiving? Life. Strength. And that God blessed me and opened my eyes,” she says. “The job that I have, that I can pay a bill and probably help someone less fortunate than me. So to me, every day is Thanksgiving.”

Occupy Wall Street protesters Jason and Oksana are grateful for community and the chance to dream.
Occupy Wall Street protesters Jason and Oksana are grateful for community and the chance to dream.

Like hundreds of other Occupy Wall Street protesters, Jason and Oksana have been ejected from Zucotti Park. Yet both still managed to carry a sense of blessing with them. Jason says he is grateful for dreams, and the chance to follow them.  

His girlfriend is more effusive. “This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for my boyfriend, my dogs, sleeping bags that we managed to somehow salvage. There are lots of good people in the community.”

A fellow activist named Brandon, still sodden from the previous night’s rain, is thankful for the right to speak out under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment rights.

“Sometimes they get respected. Sometimes they get disrespected some," Brandon says. "But I am just grateful we live in a country where, when things do go wrong, we can stand up and we can say, ‘Hey, this is wrong and it needs to be changed.’”

A downtown resident named Barbara has not participated in the protests, yet she appreciates the idealistic spirit that underlies them.  

“I am extraordinarily grateful that people have been willing to give up their time and make such a commitment to staying outside in the cold and the rain and to try to bring about social justice. I am very grateful for their commitment on Thanksgiving.”  

Some thoughts to chew on along with all the roast turkey and the trimmings this Thanksgiving Day.

You May Like

Video On The Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime bombardment, VOA correspondent finds More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid