Thanksgiving is a complicated holiday – especially this year

The US grinds to a halt during this long weekend but not everyone is stopping to celebrate, writes Holly Baxter

Wednesday 24 November 2021 21:30
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<p>Turkey and sweet potato with marshmallows are on the menu </p>

Turkey and sweet potato with marshmallows are on the menu

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States, where everything winds down and people go back to their family homes for a traditional dinner of turkey, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie and sweet potato with marshmallows (yes, really). The sitting president ceremoniously pardons a turkey bound for the Thanksgiving table. Pictures of active military members receiving a donated dinner appear on TV screens across the nation.

More than Christmas, this is the time when New York suddenly empties out. Restaurants shutter, bars close down, and Times Square goes quiet. This is a pan-American, cross-religion celebration – or a time to take stock and gather together in quiet reflection, if you’re an Indigenous family who refers to the day instead as the National Day of Mourning.

There is a mournful feeling in the air, too, in Wisconsin today. Just days ago, a Ford SUV was driven into a crowd at an early Christmas parade in the small town of Waukesha, killing five at the scene. Another victim died later in hospital. Sixty people were injured additionally.

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