Letters to the Editor. On thanks, anthems, and peace
The article ``Thanksgiving: the Pilgrim viewpoint,'' Nov. 25, erred in one significant manner: There is no mention of the involvement of the neighboring Indians of the Wampanoag tribe with this famous Thanksgiving. The foods which were probably shared at that event were first eaten by these native people. Such foods include turkey, cranberries, squash, and corn (maize). In fact, if one reads William Bradford's ``The History of Plimoth Colony,'' it becomes clear that these English immigrants would never have survived without the generosity of the natives in bringing food and teaching about local edibles.
Although it is commonly assumed that the Plimoth Colony invited the Wampanoag people to eat Thanksgiving on the colony premises, some scholars argue that actually the Pilgrims were the guests in the Wampanoag village. This festival of giving thanks to God was already an ancient native ceremony regularly celebrated by the native American religion. Thanksgiving, unknown as such in Europe, is thus obviously a Native American invention. Rev. James David Audlin Madison, Conn.
In suggesting ``The Star-Spangled Banner'' be abandoned as our national anthem, the writer was misinformed [``Pitching anthems,'' Nov. 22].
Everyone agrees ``America, the Beautiful'' is a lilting pastoral song which makes Americans rejoice in the breadth and wonder of this country. But ``The Star-Spangled Banner,'' born of our trials and our anguish, stirs as no other music can.
The War of 1812 finally secured American independence and forced Europe to accept us as a world power. ``The Star-Spangled Banner'' reminds us that our Capitol was burned by an invader, but our people were never conquered. Royana Bailey Redon Virginia Beach, Va.
Prof. Joseph A. Murphy doesn't answer his first question in his fine column, ``Peace around the world'' [Nov. 18].
``Does the word `peace' mean the same thing to an American, a Russian, or a Nigerian?'' The answer is no. Paul H. Nitze in an article, ``Living With the Soviets'' (Foreign Affairs, Winter 1984-85), discusses the meaning of the Russian word ``mir'' and the word ``peace:''
``True mir can be achieved only through the establishment of a worldwide classless Marxist society, which given the nature of capitalism will be achieved only through revolutionary struggle.''
That isn't peace in our language. We should be thankful that Ambassador Nitze and President Reagan are working together and understand our basic differences with the Communists. Leslie B. Gray Sparks, Nev.