In September 1620 a boat with 102 passengers and 30 crew set sail from Plymouth, England, bound for a location near the mouth of the Hudson River. In November, 66 days later, they reached land far north of the river, having been blown off course by severe weather en route. They stayed on the boat through the winter. Only half their number survived to see the spring. [Anyone see a need for a GAR risk analysis here?] Local inhabitants taught them to grow corn and showed them other skills the following summer. Their first harvest in 1621 was bountiful, and they scheduled a three-day feast to celebrate. They enjoyed birds, deer, and the fruits of their fields. Their new friends, who had shared their knowledge and skills, joined them. They all gave thanks. This remembrance became known as Thanksgiving.

Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated as one of our official national holidays. It is our custom to pause and give thanks for the bounty with which we are blessed. It is the diversity of what we have and who we are that makes this celebration so special. With all the turbulence in the world around us, we continue to have much for which we are thankful. Not the least of these things is each other and in particular those who serve at home and abroad protecting our country and our way of life.

The women and men of the Coast Guard Auxiliary are an important part of the fabric of our society. America's recreational boaters are grateful that we volunteer to help them. We in turn are honored to be of service to our fellow boaters as well as to the Coast Guard.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, please accept my thanks for a job well done, and please be safe in all you do.

Very respectfully,

Tom Mallison /s/
National Commodore