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View Diary: Thanksgiving: National Day Of Mourning (30 comments)

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  •  I'm reading a book right now basically about (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Winter Rabbit, chimene

    the history surrounding Custer et. al. v. Sitting Bull (beginning, in part, with Custer's Civil War involvement and taking in the perspective of many other military people of the time--a book I have not previously read).  I have read this history (differently) many times and I never get used to it, nor will I ever.  I wanted to read this to get yet another view.

    Reading Custer's own words (he wrote a series of articles for, I believe, a St. Lewis newspaper which were later incorporated into a book, My Life on the Plains was so shocking the first time.  I don't think I have read anything that depressing and horrible in my life and I have probably read every major and minor work on the massacres you cite above, and others.

    I have boxes of these books.  And every year I swear I understand as much as I ever will and store the boxes.  Then, I decide that I don't understand it at all and pull out the boxes and begin to read again.  This has been going on now for over 35 years.  Some of the books are taped together they have been read so many times.  

    What I am beginning to understand is that understanding changes with age.  Life has a way of pronouncing some things at 20, and some things at 58.  So the learning and understanding really never ends.

    All I can say, as one of part Native blood (Seneca) though my family lost that heritage generations ago, is that I have this constant conflict of revering one half of my family and feeling shame for the other half; a sort of yo-yo that never ends.  

    But since I was about 16--awakened by reading about AIM--I have never felt right about Thanksgiving.  It is a tragic day, and yet we feast.  Some years I chose to work so I didn't have to explain things to my family.  Now I just try not to recognize it at all whenever possible.

    This year, given my mom will probably be either in the hospital or in a board and care, I will probably go and end up somehow being involved in some kind of faux celebratory meal with her.  She is 97, which I honor, but it just eats at me when I have to even recognize "that" side of the holiday.

    Nice to see you again, WR, and I hope you continue writing.  I always enjoy your work so much.


    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

    by cany on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 07:07:11 PM PST

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