By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
The American Benevolent Society (ABS) hosted its annual Thanksgiving Day luncheon on Thursday, Nov. 23, at Christ’s Church Anglican Parish in Colonia Lomas de Chapultepec, with more than 120 guests attending.
The lavish sit-down meal included a traditional menu of turkey and dressing, along with a marshmallow Waldorf salad, yams, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas, carrots and fresh pumpkin pie, and was served with white and red wine.
Before the meal, guests were invited to sample coriander mousse and cream cheese and apricot jam canapés.
ABS executive director Barbara Franco served as master of ceremonies, welcoming all present with a brief speech, noting that the holiday provides U.S. citizens an opportunity “to carry forward the legacy of our forbearers,” who set forth to create a great nation.
“The spirit of Thanksgiving is universal,” Franco said.
“It is a very special ocasión for Americans to look back and give thanks for all they have received, and it is also a time for reaching out and broadening relations. It is about family, and our extended families, which often embark people from around the globe.”
Franco also read a moving story about the early Mayflower pilgrims and their struggle and eventual survival, which was the inspiration for the establishment of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Christ Church Anglican-Episcopal Parish Rector Francis N. Hebert offered grace and spoke about the importance of giving thanks to God for all one’s blessings.
The ABS has hosted annual Thanksgiving feasts for the American community in Mexico since shortly after its founding 147 years ago.
The tradition of a Thanksgiving feast purportedly began in New England in 1621, when the pilgrims at Plymouth were rescued from starvation by the Native American Indians who shared their food and knowledge of planting with the European settlers.
In 1817, the state of New York adopted Thanksgiving Day as an annual institution, and by the middle of the 19th century, other northern states had adopted the custom.
Thanksgiving Day was first celebrated as a national U.S. holiday in 1863, in accordance with the proclamation issued by then-President Abraham Lincoln as a gesture of reconciliation after the American Civil War.
Since then, each U.S. president has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation, usually designating the fourth Thursday of each November as the holiday.