"For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.
"With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country....
"I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America... He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on."
--Benjamin Franklin, in a letter to his daughter
It is a Thanksgiving tradition of mine to post this letter from Mr. Franklin.
This year we are in Puerto Vallarta celebrating with my mother, Judy Bright, who has this year fought a rare form of cancer. Not only are Liz and I here with our children but my step-father, Dr. John Thomas, is with us along with my sisters and their children, my wonderful nephews. We have a lot to be thankful for even as we know this journey is not finished.
My prayers on this Thanksgiving are for the world and all those who suffer from hunger and homelessness, discrimination and oppression, and fear. Let justice roll down like a mighty river. Amen.