D. Gary Davis
Do you remember getting home from school and watching Adam West & Burt Ward on the television as they fought crime as "Batman and Robin”? Each week they would be successful in outwitting every villain and criminal with the help of some amazing gadgets, gizmos and inventions. To a younger audience they were simply fantastic. But if we go back and watch them now, on YouTube, the ability to scale buildings using the Bat Rope can easily be seen to be an interesting blend of camera angles and special effects. If you did not know this, I apologize!
There are many who also will try and make us think that ANYTHING that we were taught, read or have memories of are easily placed in the same category. That we now, as adults, know better and that anything in history may also be explained in the same way. This brings me to this week’s annual, National Holiday, known as Thanksgiving. Unlike past television shows that many of us remember, the "original” Thanksgiving has no living witnesses nor are there any film clips or photos. We have historical writings and narratives from those who did attend and made notations concerning their memories.
If you have ever had the experience of having multiple people explain an event that they may have all witnessed, it is easy to see where those who may have ulterior motives can not only originate multiple new "theories” concerning Thanksgiving but may also even try and change the Holiday itself. Some people even seem to gain great pleasure in finding fault and explaining the concept of faith in a less than honorable light. I, too, was not there during the first Thanksgiving, so I cannot verify that ALL in attendance were the best of friends and exchanged pleasantries while dining on Turkey and dressing, but I have an opinion.
Two distinctly different societies and cultures found themselves being at the same place at the same time. I am sure that there were voices, in each camp, that said the opposing side must be evil. I am sure that there were also voices that said we must have the courage and tenacity to not only get along, but we may even find that when we do work together we will all benefit. The ability to see past their differences, define common goals, mixed with faith in a higher power and working together gave them the ability to endure a harsh climate and survive together, and gave ALL of their descendants a reason to be Thankful.
My executive assistant said that his wife, Peggy Hathcock, mentioned to him the question last week of, "What if all that I have today, is what I have expressed Thankfulness for yesterday?” We can all see the differences across our Nation, our region, our state, our county, our city and even our community. But at this time that we have set aside to give thanks, may we truly see, understand and beyond any shadow of a doubt know that we are ALL also in this together. We will never agree on everything, nor should we, but we can and also should be able to disagree without being disagreeable.
From my family to yours, please accept thanks for the opportunity to serve as your County Mayor and know that I appreciate you all. Please enjoy some time with family and friends. May the gift of this Thanksgiving time be in just giving thanks and also remembering the past, enjoying the present and looking forward to the future, TOGETHER (where no special effects are needed) in the greatest place on earth, Bradley County, Tennessee!