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November features two of the most important days of observance

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

Posted on November 12, 2004:

Senator Dyson Perhaps more than any other month, November is the most important as far as holidays -- or I prefer observances -- go. Each November, we honor our veterans on November 11. This is such a sacred observance that unlike some holidays (President’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday observance for example) Veterans Day is never changed so that we can accomodate a three-day holiday weekend.

During this year’s Veteran’s Day ceremonies which were held throughout the nation, I had the privilege of honoring several veterans who were critically injured in the Iraq war with Senate Citations. I proudly salute their efforts. We should have a day to give them the proper respect they deserve.

In addition to the Iraqi War veterans, I was also pleased to honor World War II hero Clancy Lyall with a Senate Citation. Clancy has been a long-time supporter of veterans and he realizes first-hand what it is like to be a veteran himself having fought the Battle of Normandy then heading on to the Battle of the Bulge.

If nothing else, every American should say a prayer to God for our men and women in combat every day we are at war in Iraq.

Another holiday/observance that doesn’t have a set date, but a set day is Thanksgiving which is held on the last Thursday of November.

On Thanksgiving, we thank God for all of the blessings we receive over the course of the year. There is so much to be thankful for in this country and in Maryland. For instance, look at the fact that despite a divided electorate, we elected a president in orderly fashion without violence in the streets. I implore all of you to enjoy all the trappings of Thanksgiving including your turkey dinner and the football games. But please take a moment to reflect on all the blessings God has given you on November 25 and say thanks for all of them.

While we did not have a formal “Thanksgiving Day” when Maryland colonists first landed on St. Clements Island in March 1634, Father Andrew White did offer a Mass for the Feast of the Anunciation of the Virgin Mary on March 25, a date that was then considered New Year’s Day and today is observed as Maryland Day. The Feast included the building of “an enormous wooden cross” and then “took solemn possession of the country,” according to Father Andrew White’s diary.

Even then, despite the fact more than 20 people died on that historic journey from England to these unknown shores, Father White knew to thank God for the 120-140 people who did survive and a few days after the mass moved on the Yoacomico Village with Governor Leonard Calvert to establish the first capital of Maryland -- St. Mary’s City. From there, these brave settlers went on to build the great state we know today.

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

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