A chance to give thanks, then and now

In 1620, the Pilgrims came to America to live in a land of their own. They wanted freedom from the King of England, religious and otherwise. They set sail for Virginia and when their ship the Mayflower was blown off course they landed at Plymouth.
The Pilgrims had been granted a charter to settle in Virginia but not in Plymouth. Aboard the ship the Pilgrims wrote a document of how the colony would be governed. The plan of government became known as “The Mayflower Compact.” The Pilgrims agreed to work with each other to make the colony succeed.
25 years ago, residents of the five towns that make up Encinitas decided the time had come to live in a land of their own. They were tired of county bureaucrats telling them how their land use would be governed; they were tired of cronyism amongst developers and of how their tax dollars were spent. Like the Pilgrims, they wanted to live under their own laws.
The “Founding Fathers” of Encinitas set sail for city hood in the basement of Cardiff resident Bob Bonde. In what became known as “The Cardiff War Room,” Bonde and others wrote a document of how the city would be formed. To gain independence they used slogans like “Don’t tread on me,” to describe the over reach of big county government and Ben Franklin’s famous slogan “Join or Die,” to encourage citizen involvement.
Encinitas residents wrote a governing document called “The Encinitas General Plan,” defining land uses and standards that have protected our quality of life for 25 years. Today, bureaucrats from the state and SANDAG want Encinitas to write a new General Plan that benefits high-density development and special interests. Residents of the five communities of Encinitas say the city’s “ship” is being blown off course. They are demanding the city update the current General Plan, and not write a new one.
In 1789, General George Washington made a Presidential Proclamation that Nov. 26 be a “National day of Thanksgiving and Prayer.” In 1827, Sara Joseph Hale began the effort to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. In 1863 her hard work paid off when President Abraham Lincoln declared it a national holiday, showing us that one person can make a difference. In 1939, President Roosevelt declared Thanksgiving be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.
Growing up as a kid in New England we were schooled in the hardships endured by the Pilgrims and the necessity of working with others to be successful. For our family, Thanksgiving meant helping others, pumpkin pies and family gatherings to give thanks. My father Hank told us kids “that with an attitude of gratitude anything is possible.” Thanks Dad.
As for the Pilgrims, the first Thanksgiving was in Plymouth, 1621. The first Bay Colony Thanksgiving was in 1630 when Governor John Winthrop documented in his journal that “We kept a day of Thanksgiving in all plantations.”
This holiday, in North County, we might give thanks for the many gifts we enjoy. Be it our liberty and freedom, our family and friends or simply the warm coastal breezes that nestle in our souls and fill our lives with joy.


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