Thanksgiving Day
In Britain, America, and Myanmar

This essay isn’t about Trump or Western Union. It is not about Rep. Jordan and a whistleblower related story about him when he was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State. Additionally, this essay isn’t about Rep. Nunes and an investigation into his trip to Ukraine related to Trump’s withholding military funds.

To be absolutely honest with you, I want to write additional articles about those topics. However, in less than two weeks, I will be flying from Chicago to Istanbul, Turkey. There I will change planes and fly to Lahore, Pakistan. I will spend a couple of days with my web administrator’s family. Then I’ll fly to Bangkok, Thailand and change planes again and finally land in Yangon, Myanmar. Moh Moh, the mother of my three grandchildren, will meet me at the airport. I want to meet her mother and her siblings. She will take me to see some of my friends in Yangon. The following day, we will fly up to Taunggyi. Finally, I will get to see Ko Ko and his three daughters. What a family reunion that will be.

However, in the meantime, it is really crunch time for me. I simply can’t grade several dozen term papers and finals for the classes that I am teaching, get things organized for the trip, see one of my doctors, have my dentist deal with one of my teeth, address some medical issues with Ginger, and the list goes on and on. Therefore, this essay will be the last posting to my webpage until I return in January 2020.

Therefore, my last article for 2019, is about Thanksgiving Day in America. Interestingly, other countries have their own brand of Thanksgiving Days. Britain has a couple Thanksgiving Days. In 1588, there was one for Lord Nelson’s defeat of Spanish and French fleets at the battle of the Spanish Armada. Additionally, the Gunpowder Plot in 1605 was another one. They called that day, Guy Fawkes Day.

Even more interesting is that we, in America, actually have two Thanksgiving Days. The first one was started by the Pilgrims in 1621. They were celebrating the first harvest in their new homeland.

Someone took this photograph in 1621.

Our second Thanksgiving Day was started by Abraham Lincoln in 1863. That Thanksgiving Day was proclaimed due to the various Union victories over the Confederates during the Civil War. In fact, Lincoln made that Thanksgiving Day officially to be observed on the last Thursday of November. I have some serious doubts that the Confederate army celebrated Thanksgiving Day and toasted Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln’s Proclamation of Thanksgiving Day

I have added the third Thanksgiving Day. However, the official day for my Thanksgiving Day is December 30. My first celebration of Thanksgiving Day started on December 30, 2017. On that day, nearly two years ago, my Thanksgiving Day was celebrated at Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar. That is probably the reason that most Americans have no idea about this holiday. Last year, on December 30th, my family celebrated without me. However, on December 30, 2019, I will have returned to Myanmar, and we will have our Thanksgiving Day at the Nyaung Shwe Restaurant. Presently, I’m trying to get this restaurant to be added to World Heritage List of UNESCO.

All Thanksgiving Days are times for people to be grateful for how fortunate that they are. For me, it is a time of celebrating the blessing that I discovered while in Myanmar six years ago. I was a stranger in a distant land. It was similar to the feelings those first Pilgrims must have felt. Initially, I went to Myanmar to try to interview Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, often called The Lady. However, a found a young lady. Her name is Ti Ti. She is the link that has tied our two families together.

As I was writing this article, I got a notice from her father, Ko Ko. Ti Ti received the honor of being First in the Math Olympic competition for the Shan State in Myanmar.

Assuming that most of my readers don’t know Myanmar, allow me to translate it for you. Essentially, it says, “To Ti Ti, you are the best Einstein-like student in the Shan State in Myanmar. You are gifted in everything. There’s no rival for you, not only in the Shan State, but in all of Myanmar…actually, in the entire universe. You are intelligent, smart, beautiful, charming, caring, ad infinitum. Let this proclamation go out to all humanity, you are a marvelous young lady. Let’s here it for Ti Ti.” While I might had missed translating a couple words correctly, I did a pretty perfect translation.

On our Thanksgiving Day, I’ll toast Ti Ti at the Nyaung Shwe Restaurant.