November Is Native American Awareness Month

 

November is Native American Awareness month.  I can not think of a more fitting month for this awareness since Thanksgiving is also celebrated in the month of November,  Well known to most Americans but probably not as much to people from other countries, our Thanksgiving and its history evolves from the Pilgrims giving a celebration and day of thanks for the Native Americans. In the United States,Thanksgiving is commonly observed on the fourth Thursday of November every year.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

According to Wikipedia, “”the event that Americans commonly call the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621. This feast lasted three days, and was attended by about 53 Pilgrims and 90 American Indians. The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating “thanksgivings”—days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought.”Although the holiday was first celebrated in 1621 on the Plymouth Plantation as a harvest feast after a successful growing season, it was sporadic in the following years as an impromptu religious observance and later as a civil tradition. It was proclaimed as a national holiday in 1863 during the Civil War when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the holiday.  Thanksgiving remains to the one of the major federal and public holidays and the beginning of the holiday season that runs through Christmas and New Years Day.

 The nomadic ancestors of modern Native Americans hiked over a “land bridge” from Asia to what is now Alaska more than 12,000 years ago and many thousands of years before Christopher Columbus’ ships landed in the Bahamas. Scholars estimate that more than 50 million people were already living in the Americas by the time European adventurers arrived in the 15th century AD. Some of these 10 million lived in the area that would become the United States.

Although most Native Americans now live their daily lives in modern-day customs, many choose to remember their traditional history and celebrate at Pow Wows that are held regionally  all over the USA. The celebrations are alive with rich Native American traditions customs, and native regalia.  The photos and videos shown in this blog post were from the Stone Mountain Park, Ga. Pow Wow in November, 2013.

 

Veteran’s Day

Veterans Day
Veterans Day

Veterans Day is celebrated every year on November 11 in the United States. This federal holiday recognizes all men and women that have served in the armed services. In 2013, the day is being recognized on the November 12 because the 11th falls on a Sunday. A similar holiday, Memorial Day is celebrated in May to remember the men and women who died while serving.  Often the two holidays are confused. .

According to Wikipedia, “It coincides with other holidays such as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the end of World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect.)”

Veterans Day and its history dates back to June 4, 1926 when President Calvin Coolidge was asked by the United States Congress to issue a proclamation to observe November 11  with the proper ceremonies.  On May 13, 1938, a Congressional Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U.S. Code, Sec. 87a) made November 11  each year a legal holiday and “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day’.” Congress amended this act on June 1, 1954, changing the name from Armistice Day  to Veterans Day.

Recognized a s a federal holiday in the USA, Veterans day is also celebrated locally in most cities and towns with ceremonies and parades with displays of American flags and other patriotic items.  Many restaurants offer free meals to veterans in recognition of the holiday and to honor the sacrifice they have shown to their country.