In India, Thanksgiving Day Brings Remembrance

Posted by Josh Glazeroff
November 27, 2009
People Light Candles in Remembrance Near the India Gate Monument in New Delhi

About the Author: Josh Glazeroff serves as the visa chief at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India.

I actually started an entry about Thanksgiving last year. It began, “Yes, there are turkeys in India! Well, at least at the American Embassy…” We had plans to have friends (including a family of six who drove to India from Sweden) over to share this very American tradition in a very different place (the “Pilgrims” here tend to follow a very different path). We had the turkey, the potatoes, the green beans, and the pumpkin pie. We also had our families far away, and when I called mine in the United States, I got a very panicked, “Are you ok?” One of the worst terrorist incidents India has ever faced took place over a period including Thanksgiving 2008. The 26th of November (26/11) will always be remembered as an infamous day here (the parallel with 9/11 is not coincidental) for the events in which terrorists attacked a series of locations across Mumbai. Over 170 (including 6 Americans) were killed and over 300 were injured. Many of us at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi rushed to the office to do what we could. We set aside our personal plans and our time with our families, because our job here is to help Americans overseas. Our colleagues in Mumbai worked long hours providing assistance to those in the area, comforting the grieving, and consoling the survivors. For all of us, it remains a powerful reminder how fragile things can be.

So this year, wherever in the world we are, as we Americans think of all for which we are grateful, I especially give thanks for my own family, the lives we lead, and the joys we share.

Comments

Comments

Naor
|
Israel
November 29, 2009

Naor in Israel writes:

I wish to add and say as both an American and Israeli citizen that these times of gathering together do remind us of what is really important in life, especially when we are far away from home, exposed to other cultures and different people. we learn more about how we all human beings want the same basic things: love, being with close ones and a peaceful life.

We must find a way to help those less fortunate than us, and to prevent terror acts.

FInally i want to say that It is good to know that we have good people working and caring for our safety!

Beth
|
Massachusetts, USA
November 29, 2009

Beth in Massachusetts writes:

We are thankful for you. We miss you.

Patrick
|
Illinois, USA
November 29, 2009

Patrick in Illinois writes:

I concur. I was in Budapest, Hungary at the time. I remember preparing from the American turkey dinner that was being held at the Marriot hotel. I turned on my t.v., and every station was filled with these horrific images of hotels burning, people wounded, just, complete chaos in Mumbai. I completely forgot about everything else....the dinner, the day being Thanksgiving back home, my collegues who were downstairs waiting on me, everything. As the details started to become clear, I didn't feel like I recognized the world in front of me anymore. Everything, even familiar things, all seemed foreign at that moment.When I was growing up, I remember being so mezmerized when I looked at a globe. I always dreamed of seeing the world, learning about it, nearly endless curiosity about our would and it's people. If I could only be that kid again......

We are human beings, prone to failures and shortcomings as all living things are. But for us, there's so much more at stake. I never could have imagined all the hatred that could exist in the heart of mankind. That it could drive us to be as cruel as we've shown ourselves to be. I believe we overcome these shortcomings simply by continueing to live, learn, grow, and teaching our children to love this world as they love their own toys. As they grow, that love matures, not only for their world, but for their fellow man and woman as well. We must not be allow terrorism to alter the course of our lives. The only ones who should be able to do that for us is us. My pops used to say,"It's easy to destroy, not so easy to rebuild. So don't blow up a bridge, if you don't know how to build another one." Good words, I tell you. I'm thankful for this world, and I'm thankful for my fellow man. I'm thankful that I've had the chance to see and be a part of this world. It's still a beautiful place, if you stop and look at it sometimes. To those in India, and whoever, wherever, who have lost friends, relatives, what-have-you, to senseless acts by those who don't understand love for their world, or love for their fellow man, however imperfect they may view him to be, I'd like to say, we pray for you, and with you. Through all the hurt and pain, try to look at the world, and still be thankful.

Alysoun M.
|
Virginia, USA
November 29, 2009

Alysoun in Virginia writes:

Hi Josh! Happy Thanksgiving!

Related to the secondary topic of your post, the Washington Post reported this week in "First State Dinner: Obama Welcomes Indian Prime Minister" that "...the menu was supervised by guest chef Marcus Samuelsson, who worked with the White House kitchen staff to create predominantly vegetarian dishes, out of respect for Singh, who does not eat meat." Might the Embassy do something similar?

NITUL K.
|
Florida, USA
November 29, 2009

Patel in Florida writes:

This is the most unforgettable black and curse time of human being's life circle in this world,- weather it is 09/11 in USA or 26/11 in Mumbai, all of which is the common man has to suffer!!!!!!!!!!

So, let's stop this, WAR IS NOT THE SOLUTION OF EVERYTHING .-----my words to the terrorists.

PLEASE HELP US TO MAKE THIS WORLD A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE AND FOR OUR FUTURE.

MY KIND REMEMEBERENCE AND TRIBUTE TO THOSE LOST THEIR LIVES IN THIS INCIDENTS AND SPECIALLY OUR BRAVE AND COUREGEOUS SOLDIERS WHO FOUGHT AGAINST THE EVILS TILL THEIR LAST BREATH.
I HUMBLY SALUTE YOU!!!!!!!!.

Dimitra
|
United States
November 30, 2009

Dimitra in U.S.A. writes:

What a story! And you tell the story very well... I remember the week you are describing very well, but all I remember is what was in the papers or on TV. I never heard anyone talk about it who was actually there! I hope this Thanksgiving was less stressful for you, and you got to spend some time with your family - if only by phone.

Ueremia A.
|
United States
November 30, 2009

Ueremia in U.S.A. writes:

It was very sad. Killing innocents in the name of religion (Allah) is a heinous and highly condemnable crime. It should be stopped and all responsible for this should be brought to the justice without any delay.

Dimitra
|
United States
December 2, 2009

Dimitra in U.S.A. writes:

I would like to enlighten "Ueremia" that in the history of humanity more people have died in the name of Christianity, than any other religion, so far.

Anna
|
District Of Columbia, USA
December 2, 2009

Anna in Washington, DC writes:

@ Dimitra in U.S.A. -- I don't think Ueremia was being critical of any particular religion but was speaking out against the acts of violence in the name of religion. At least that is how I read the comment. In the case of the Mumbia attacks, the perpetrators claimed to be acting in the name of their faith, Islam, though we know that Islam does not condone such acts. Each individual makes decisions, and he or she can decide if their actions will bring about good or evil.

I'm not sure why you would immediately single out Christianity in your response to Ueremia. It really wasn't part of the conversation thread and only serves to advance the divisions that some seek. As a society, we can rehash actions taken hundreds of years ago -- the Crusades in the Middle East or the Muslim conquest of other lands. But we must move on and focus on the issues that are facing us today, and look for opportunities to build a better future.

I would say that those who have acted with violence in the name of any religion are misguided. And I believe that was what others were trying to say, too.

Geoff
|
India
December 3, 2009

Geoff in India writes:

Well said, Josh!

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