As Thanksgiving approaches, and we think about all we are thankful for, I am brought back to a Thanksgiving article run years ago in Time magazine.

The author wrote that, thanks to the pilgrims, the Native Americans had a better life. He concluded with, “What would the natives have if not for the pilgrims?”

As fate would have it, the magazine landed on the doorstep of a bachelor officers quarters where a friend of mine was residing. He not only was a captain in the Air Force but he told me he was also a Native American chief back home.

With his permission, I wrote to Time letters in response to that article.

He answered the author’s question: “Tell the pilgrims we would still have our bison, our clean waters, clean skies, abundance of organic foods and, most important, we would not be living as prisoners enslaved on a reservation in a country we all used to own. We have been stripped of our dignity and culture thanks to the ‘generosity’ of the pilgrims.”

My friend and I served together many years, and he never celebrated this day.

Frank Slason


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