Indeed, the classic Thanksgiving myth isn't true, either. Members of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe were not invited to the Pilgrims' "First Thanksgiving," which the transplanted Brits thought of purely as a harvest festival, not a special occasion of giving thanks. The Indians basically crashed the party -- but politely, bringing substantial food to share.
Anyway, I digress. America’s actual history with Indians was never mentioned in our elementary school history books (for obvious reasons…) – except for that nice dinner we had with them earlier in the evening. For that matter, our history with the Indians, along with the detailed brutality of slavery and the World War II national encampment of the Japanese (legal immigrants, second-generation-American-born Japanese and others) was left out of the curriculae too. Remember, this was the 50s to mid 60s and books offering corrected, expanded history didn't yet exist below the college level.
This Thanksgiving, I’ll be alone – for the first time by choice. I won’t have to travel or dress up and I'm not doing much cooking, but sweet potatoes will be involved. I won’t watch the parade or football. What I will do is sleep late, then look for the original Miracle On 34th Street on TV. I’ll light two Yahrzeit candles, one for my departed loved ones -- and one for the Indians. I’ll think about and speak out loud what I’m grateful for and offer thanks to the general universe for my largely good fortune. I will have a Happy Thanksgiving and hope you do, too.