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From the Presidents Desk - November 2021
2021 November President’s Message

I had intended to write this month’s letter about the first Thanksgiving. Like many others, I remember what I learned early on in school about how the Pilgrims and the Native Americans sat down for a feast. When I started to do a little research about the details of that first Thanksgiving, I found many articles and books that suggest that our childhood teachings were not really true! Imagine that!

In modern times, November had become the beginning of the “holiday season”. Thanksgiving and what is known as “Black Friday” for years had marked the start of holiday shopping for the Christmas tradition of gift giving. With the COVID-19 pandemic we’ve been experiencing for the past two years, we have a totally different set of norms. For instance, last year, we had a strict set of guidelines suggested by our government to NOT have family traditional Thanksgiving or holiday gatherings.

This year we have an additional set of issues to cope with. Holiday gift-giving may be impacted by the shortages of labor to unload the shipping containers that are sitting in our harbors. And the shortage of truckers to transport those products from the shipping containers to their markets.

In lieu of “things” to give, we can give thanks to our ancestors. Because of the hardships and perseverance of our ancestors, we are here today to tell their story and to preserve the memories, so they may be remembered for eternity. You may want to consider writing that story or at least sharing that storyline of their lives with your FAN club.
We too, should be writing about our unprecedented experiences so future generations can learn about this pandemic and how we survived or perhaps that we lost loved ones due to the illnesses caused or impacted by the COVID-19 virus.
I, for one, am grateful this Thanksgiving that my loved ones are here with me to share our stories and our memories of those who have gone before us. As genealogists or family historians, it is up to us to keep our ancestors in our minds and hearts and to continually tell their story by our research and documentation of the days of their lives.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Katie Gertz
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