We all have something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, and that’s especially true at The Mayflower. Our community’s special connection to the holiday goes all the way back to our name: a tribute to the original Mayflower that carried the Pilgrims across uncertain seas to arrive safely on the shores of the New World.
For some residents, the connection is a personal one. Over the years, we’ve been home to several individuals who can trace their family history back to the passengers of that historic voyage. (In one family’s case, charting the entire genealogical tree required a roll of paper 18 feet long!)
But in a broader sense, the Thanksgiving story holds meaning for all of us. When the 50 Pilgrims who survived a difficult first year in their new home gathered alongside the Wampanoag tribe to share a harvest, they were celebrating the simple joys of life: food, fellowship, and hope for the hard winter ahead. But across the centuries of history that followed, that moment became a memorable example of the freedom and cultural diversity that America holds dear.
It’s also in the Pilgrims that we see the roots of burgeoning democracy that set the stage for our nation’s future: The Mayflower Compact, signed in 1620, set out the concept of government by citizen-elected representatives. In pledging loyalty not to a monarch, but to laws of their own making, the Pilgrims initiated what historian Rebecca Fraser called “the first experiment in consensual government in Western history.”
Thanksgiving has always represented peace and possibility – and those values where what eventually solidified the holiday’s place in American culture. By the mid-1800s, the idea of an annual “Thanksgiving dinner” had faded into obscurity, celebrated in only a few regions of New England.
But when the Civil War broke out in 1861, all that changed. Faced with a devastating conflict and the prospect of a turbulent future, many Americans keenly felt the need for mutual understanding and reconciliation – even if it was only for a few hours as they gathered around the dinner table.
More than 400 years after the first Thanksgiving, the way we celebrate has grown and evolved. But the spirit of gratitude remains the same today as it was for those early settlers – and we at The Mayflower are proud to celebrate the legacy of the determined men and women who first journeyed to unknown shores in search of “what could be.”
Once again this year, on this very special holiday, we have a lot to be grateful for: a community that brings people together … a safe, protective environment that provides genuine peace of mind … a caring, dedicated staff and friendly residents who make The Mayflower far more than a “place to live” – they make it “home.”
So, from our home to yours, warmest wishes for a very Happy Thanksgiving!
When you’re ready to get to know all the advantages of life at The Mayflower, send us a message or give us a call at 407.672.1620. We’d love to welcome you for a visit!