As Philadelphians, we have a rich inheritance to celebrate this and every Thanksgiving.
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Philadelphia could be declared one of these days the national capital of “Thanksgiving.”
It was in 1682 that that visionary named William Penn came to the region and imagined a city that, in his purest aspiration, he saw as a “holy experiment” and called it the “City of Brotherly Love.”
He actually went as far as the Middle East in that wild imagination of his to find a name for the new city. Over there, as well-read a man as he was, Penn knew that there was a little town called Philadelphia, which etymologically speaking comes from “philos,” meaning loving, and “adelphos,” meaning brotherly. Philadelphia has this pedigree - the name of the city belongs to ancient times and the name of the city inspired a revolution 242 years ago.
After the revolution began, the city attracted and became the epicenter of the best minds of its time — people like Thomas Paine, who came as an immigrant from Scotland, or Benjamin Franklin himself, who came from up north in Boston, or Jefferson, who rode his horse all the way from Virginia, or Adams, who came down from Boston because Abigail Adams, his wife, knew best and told him to. Then George Washington arrived, once there was a war about to happen because of the Constitution the Founding Fathers had crafted to create a new nation.
We walk theses same cobblestone streets today, unaware that these great men stepped here in the course of 20 years that changed the course of the history of the universe. Philadelphia went on to become the capital of the new nation, the new nation went on to become the most powerful nation on earth, and today remains the strongest economy, the most robust political institution capable of withstanding all the winds and storms, and the mightiest military of any country on earth.
How can we not be grateful for this bountiful inheritance we Philadelphians in the 21st century currently enjoy?
God bless America, indeed.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all.