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Americans celebrate Thanksgiving with parades, feasts and football

The United States marked the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday with traditional feasts, parades and American football, taking a moment to celebrate in a week shadowed by gun violence.

November 25, 2022
By Daniel Trotta
25 November 2022

By Daniel Trotta

Nov 24 (Reuters) – The United States marked the
Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday with traditional feasts,
parades and American football, taking a moment to celebrate in a
week shadowed by gun violence.

The official holiday dates to the Civil War, when President
Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a
day to give thanks and seek healing. U.S. schoolchildren learn
to trace the holiday to Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock in
1620 and celebrated the autumn harvest with the Wampanoag
peoples. Among Native Americans, Thanksgiving is a day of dark
reflection on the genocide that followed.

Americans were mourning this year in the wake of a pair of
deadly shootings. On Saturday, an attacker opened fire in an
LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, killing five
people. On Tuesday, a Walmart employee gunned down six coworkers
and turned the gun on himself in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Those were just two of the more than 600 mass shootings so
far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, using the
definition of four or more shot or killed, not including the
shooter.

President Joe Biden, visiting a firehouse on Nantucket
Island, Massachusetts, to thank first responders on
Thanksgiving, told reporters he would attempt to pass some form
of gun control before a new Congress is seated in January,
possibly renewing his attempt to ban assault weapons.

“The idea we still allow semi-automatic weapons to be
purchased is sick. It’s just sick. It has no, no social
redeeming value, zero, none. Not a single solitary rationale for
it except profits for gun manufacturers,” Biden said, presumably
referring to certain rifles as many common and less lethal
weapons are also semi-automatic.

Earlier Biden phoned into presenters of the Macy’s
Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, a televised extravaganza of
marching bands, floats and performances by stars including
Dionne Warwick, who sang the classic “What the World Needs Now.”

The Bidens continued a family tradition of meeting on
Nanctucket for Thanksgiving. The approach of the long holiday
weekend typically ignites a frenzy of travel as scattered
families come together from across the country for holiday
meals.

Midnight after Thanksgiving also marks the unofficial start
of the Christmas shopping season, offering a snapshot of the
state of the U.S. economy.

Televised American football serves as the backdrop to turkey
dinners with mounds of side dishes and desserts. The National
Football League was staging three games Thursday.

Thanksgiving also prompts an outpouring of donations to the
poor and hungry, a task complicated by avian flu outbreaks that
have eliminated about 8 million turkeys, making the big birds
more scarce and thus more expensive this year. Production of
turkey meat this year is forecast to fall 7% from 2021,
according to U.S. government data.
(Reporting by Daniel Trotta in Carlsbad, California; Additional
reporting by Nandita Bose in Nantucket, Massachusetts; editing
by Jonathan Oatis)

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