Top 10 Reasons to Give Thanks This Thanksgiving Season!

“Top 10 Reasons to Give Thanks This Thanksgiving Season!”
Ty J. Young Editorial

Everyone recognizes Thanksgiving as a great American holiday. It is a time for football games, shopping, and lots of eating. Most Americans also remember the original and primary reason for the holiday: a time to reflect and give thanks to God for the blessings in our lives. Being born and raised as an American, your blessings are abundant; many people in other countries are not afforded the many opportunities we have.

The history is well known – the pilgrims and Puritans at Plymouth Rock sat down in 1621 to celebrate the harvest and give thanks to God for the abundant blessings they received that year. But there are also little known fun facts about our truly American Thanksgiving celebration:

1. Thomas Jefferson thought delivering a federal Thanksgiving proclamation was “the most ridiculous idea ever conceived.”
2. The average roundtrip Thanksgiving visit is 214 miles, compared to 275 for Christmas.
3. The Pilgrim’s Thanksgiving feast in 1621 occurred sometime between September 21 and November 1. It lasted three days and included 50 surviving pilgrims and approximately 90 Wampanoag Indians, including Chief Massasoit. Their menu differed from modern Thanksgiving dinners and included berries, shellfish, boiled pumpkin, and deer.
4. Not all states were eager to adopt Thanksgiving because some thought the national government was exercising too much power in declaring a national holiday. Additionally, southern states were hesitant to observe what was largely a New England practice.
5. The first Thanksgiving football game was in 1876.

From the Ty J. Young Inc. family, here is our top 10 list!

Top 10 Reasons to give Thanks this Thanksgiving Season:

10. Football! Whether it is a friendly game with family members in the backyard, a high school state playoff game on Friday night, college football’s “Rivalry Weekend” across the country, or the pro-games after the Thanksgiving meal, football has been and remains a featured staple of the Thanksgiving holiday!

9. Buttered Rolls. Whether it’s your momma’s, or your Grand-momma’s, nothing beats the buttered roll, which you rarely get the rest of the year and always seems to taste the best on Thanksgiving!

8. The post-meal nap. Falling asleep on your couch while little kid relatives destroy lamps, carpet, and let loose animals in the backyard, is a requirement for a successful Thanksgiving holiday!

7. Apple Pie. Warm apple pie, with some vanilla ice cream … can we skip the meal and go straight to dessert?

6. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. In our hyper-fast-paced social media environment and culture, it is hard to get anyone to sit down to watch a simple parade anymore. But the pageantry, the historic tradition, and the nostalgia it provides for a simpler time makes watching the parade a regular feature of many households on Thanksgiving Day.

5. The Gravy. Whether your family serves gravy old-school with drippings off the turkey fat, pan-fried, rich and creamy, dark, light, thick, or thin… the fundamental requirement of any great Thanksgiving feast is a hefty serving of gravy!

4. The Stuffing. When you research “Thanksgiving Stuffing,” you realize there are hundreds of ways to make stuffing and all of them sound great! Everyone knows Thanksgiving is not complete without a healthy plate full of your mom’s stuffing!

3. The Turkey. Not number one? Well, some other rather important items come up on Thanksgiving, such as family and giving thanks. However, having and eating, the turkey cannot be any lower on the list! Dry or juicy, the “bird” is what everyone is looking forward to at dinner time!

2. Spending time with Family. Yes there is the cousin who does not shower or your sister’s spouse who spiked the fruit juice, but, in the end there is nothing better or more important than spending time with your loved ones. Giving thanks for having your family is a reminder of the truly important things in life.

1. Being an American. While the old red, white and blue can seem to be fraying around the edges and the news each day always seems to have something negative to say, there is simply no question or doubt that we live in the greatest country in the history of the world. We are Americans with a capital “A!” The history, success, inventions, achievement, and cultural dominance … ALL represent a people that cannot be equaled. That is God’s divine hand on our nation, and His unique blessing on our people. As Ronald Reagan once said during his second Thanksgiving Day speech in 1982: “I have always believed that this anointed land was set apart in an uncommon way, that a divine plan placed this great continent here between the oceans to be found by people from every corner of the Earth who had a special love of faith and freedom.”

Ultimately, all of our thanks goes to God for what he has given us here on this earth.

America—land of the free, home of the brave—our election season is over, and the country remains divided in many respects. But remember the spirit of the season—we should be truly thankful for the abundance we have in our lives!

For many, this will be a difficult and challenging Thanksgiving season. But that does not mean God’s plan is not working. His plan has always been the right plan for our lives, regardless of the peaks and valleys we may endure.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone from your extended family at Ty J. Young, Inc.!

Footnotes:
– Colman, Penny. Thanksgiving: The True Story. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company, LLC, 2008.
http://www.factretriever.com/thanksgiving-facts

Young Olympians Remind Us of Our Greatness

“Young Olympians Remind Us of Our Greatness”
Ty J. Young Editorial

The start of the 2016 Olympics has already offered numerous reminders of the greatness of America! While so often we are talking about the conflict, division and problems we face, it is important to remember many of our solutions are out there to be found – and we can see examples of those solutions in the competitive grace, talent, and accomplishment of our young athletes. America is the Greatest Nation on Earth and these young people can remind us of that every day!

Already those examples have led our country to gold! The first gold medal of the 2016 Rio Olympics was won by 19-year old West Virginia student Ginny Thrasher in the women’s 10-meter Air Rifle (girls with guns … will she receive a White House invite?) Swimmer Katie Ledecky has won gold and silver. Her gold came in the women’s 400m freestyle, and she did it while smashing her own world record by almost two seconds.

The most poignant so far was the redemption of the men’s U.S. 400m relay team with rookie 19-year-old Caeleb Dressel, rookie Ryan Held, veteran Nathan Adrian joined by the venerable Michael Phelps. The U.S. was not even predicted to earn a medal in the sport we previously owned for decades. Instead of accepting their also-ran status, Phelps helped the U.S. take a commanding lead in the second leg, putting the favored French, Aussies and Russians more than a second behind. Phelps’ Coach Bob Bowman exclaimed, “That was the greatest win in American relay team history!” It is already considered one of the greatest upsets in Olympic men’s swimming history. It was our first win since 2009 in the event and first Olympic medal in it since the 2008 games in Beijing. As the Star Spangled Banner played, the imagery of these 4 champions would give goose bumps to any true patriot! Adrian, the veteran anchor, sang and beamed with pride. Dressel, the rookie, bawled tears of joy. Held, the other rookie, smiled as if to say, “Did we just do that?” And Phelps, the most decorated Olympian in history, gave the expression of fierce vengeance, standing forcefully on the stage, his expression saying, “Who did you think you were dealing with?”

The glory of American success comes as a reminder of great American Olympic success stories. There are a lot of Top 10 lists. Here is ours:

Our Top 10 American Olympic Success Stories:

10. Jim Thorpe wins two golds in the pentathlon and the decathlon. Thorpe is the only winner of the gold in both sports at the same Olympics. He won a staggering 8 of the 15 total events between the two sports at the 1912 Stockholm Games and was the first Native American gold medal winner in Olympic history.

9. Kerri Strug, despite injured ankle, sticks the landing! A member of the Magnificent Seven 1996 women’s gymnastics team in the Atlanta Games, Strug famously performed her vault on a sprained ankle, injured in a previous event. She scored a 9.712, enough to help the U.S. women’s team win the gold – shocking the heavy favorites from Russia, Romania, and Ukraine. She was carried off by the U.S. Coach Béla Károlyi in an iconic image. Her injury prevented her from competing in the individual competitions.

8. Michael Johnson becomes only track and field star in history to win gold in both the 200m and 400m at the same Olympics. Atlanta 1996 had several great American moments. And only one sprinter to this day has ever won both the 200 and 400m races at the same Olympics – American Michael Johnson (aka “The Man with the Golden Shoes”). To this day, he still holds the World and Olympic record for the fastest 400m.

7. Flo-Jo conquers Seoul in 1988! Florence Griffith Joyner won gold in the 100m and 200m at the Seoul Olympics in 1988. Her victories included the World and Olympic records in both races. Her 100m time was 10.49 and remains the world record to this day. Even more extraordinary was her record times were not wind assisted, and the closest time not wind assisted is 10.79. Flo-Jo sadly died an early death from an epileptic seizure in 1998.

6. America’s Sweetheart – Mary Lou Retton and the ‘Perfect 10’ from Los Angeles, 1984. The diminutive Retton was 16 years old when she landed a perfect 10 in the floor exercise and vault at the ’84 Olympic games in Los Angeles. Her performance in the women’s all-around allowed her to claim the gold medal, as well as the hearts of all Americans nationwide.

pic

5. Phelps wins 8 gold medals at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Americans love the underdog … but we also love the guy who knows he is the best, tells you he is the best, and then proves he is the best. Phelps made it no secret of his goal to win 8 medals in swimming at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. And he did just that. Not only did he beat another American’s record 7 golds in swimming in 1976 – Mark Spitz – but to date he has won 22 overall medals and 19 gold, making this American the most decorated Olympian of all time.

4. Rulon Gardner takes down the Russian Bear. Young people may look at China as being America’s primary Olympic competitor, but from 1948 through the 2000 Olympics, it was the Soviet Union and Russia who represented our greatest challenge. In 2000, the U.S. won the overall medal count 93-89 over the Russians, and 37-32 in gold medals. One of those gold medals came from wrestler Rulon Gardner. Gardner was an accomplished collegiate wrestler and played college football at Nebraska, but Americans had never before been successful in Greco-Roman wrestling at the Olympics. We were hoping for a silver, if we were lucky. Instead, Gardner took down Russian Aleksandr Karelin – who had not lost in 13 years! It is considered the greatest upset in Greco-Roman competition history! Gardner brought home the gold.

3. Dream Team reminds the world ‘Who’s the Boss.’ America lost the basketball gold medal to the Soviets in 1988, and it was clear the world was sending much older professionals, seasoned veterans, to take on our Olympic basketball team. The rest of the world had caught up … or so they thought. Once the NBA agreed to send our professionals, reality for the rest of the world quickly set in. Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and the rest of the Dream Team easily won gold, and did so with extraordinary showmanship and style. The 44-point average margin of victory was second only to the 1956 team’s 53-point average margin of victory. The 11 Hall of Famers make 1992 perhaps the greatest sports team ever assembled.

2. Berlin 1936 – Jesse Owens shows Hitler ‘Who’s the Boss.’ Amidst the backdrop of Nazism and Hitler’s belief in the superior race, and as the World War was slowly approaching, African-American Jesse Owens wins 4 gold medals and becomes the most successful athlete at the 1936 Olympics. It was a great American moment, but not perhaps Owens’ most impressive. His three world records and tying another in less than an hour at the 1935 Big Ten track meet in Ann Arbor, Michigan, while representing Ohio State, has been called “the greatest 45 minutes ever in sports” and has never been equaled. Nonetheless, his iconic image of receiving the gold in Berlin with Hitler in attendance is one for all the world to cherish.

1. ’Miracle On Ice’ … there is no comparison. Vietnam, Watergate, 4 years of malaise, stagflation, Russians on the march and hostages in Iran … as a country, the 1970s could not end fast enough. But the 1980s were just getting started, and Reagan had not yet been elected. Could we find some hope in the winter Olympics up at Lake Placid? The answer – as every American knows – is YES … we DO believe in miracles! Made up of college kids mostly from Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin, the American hockey team was matched up against the professionals from hockey factories such as West Germany, Czechoslovakia, and the dreaded Soviets. The Soviet Union had not lost since 1960 in Olympic play and they had just beaten a professional all-star team from the NHL 6-0 and the American kids 10-3 in an exhibition the week before. By believing in themselves, and playing the game of their lives, the Americans upset the Russians 4-3 and went on to claim Olympic gold! It was the perfect launch point of the one of the greatest periods in American history!

pic2
We do not have to accept decline. Watching young Americans, having toiled, worked, trained, and struggled for years to reach this one do-or-die moment is a reminder of all we can achieve as Americans.

(https://sports.yahoo.com/news/the-story-of-how-michael-phelps-and-the-best-turn-ever-done-made-olympic-magic-065358629.html?nhp=1)

(http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/08/sports/olympics/katie-ledecky-400-freestyle-swimming-record.html)

God Bless our Police Officers

“God Bless our Policemen”
Ty J. Young Editorial

The country was once again rocked by a series of assaults on the police last week, starting with the attacks in Dallas that left 5 officers dead and many more wounded. Additional attacks occurred against the police in other states including Georgia and Missouri.

Police are the very best of who we are. Police and those in law enforcement are superheroes! They are called “to “protect and to serve,” and do so every day in our communities around the country. They are truly Americans with a capital “A,” serving the greatest country in the world! It is a shame that so often we are seeing those in power try to handicap them. “Hero” is just the beginning of the praise they should receive!!!

I. Police Officers are the Very Best of our Community – Consider All They Do for us:

1. They are our first responders. Police officers go directly into the line of fire when there is a 911 call or any other form of civil disturbance.

2. They are our first line of defense. The Army cannot come to your side in your time of need, and Captain America is comic book fiction. You’re calling 911, your local superheroes, when problems arise in your neighborhood.

3. Victory for the police each day is how many crimes are stopped … and how many lives are saved. If nothing goes wrong, their job is done.

4. They sacrifice time with their families, higher salaries working in other fields, and sometimes make the ultimate sacrifice – ALL for you and me to live our lives in peace and safety! No police? No law, no order … no civilization. In 2013, The FBI reported police officers were assaulted over 50,000 times, with 76 resulting in death. That is paying the ultimate sacrifice to make sure your neighborhood is safe for you and your family.

Police officers shooting blacks is not rampant nationwide; it is a false narrative. The data shows one of the most significant social issues in the black community today is black on black violence. In Chicago – this year alone – shootings are up by about 80 percent.

Around the country the good deeds of our police forces often go unreported: from the cops attending a 10-year-old’s birthday when no else went … to helping secure a woman’s dog running loose on the Bay Bridge … to helping buy food for a potential shoplifter … all the way to the police officer who laid his body over the wounded lady in Dallas during the shooting – essentially laying down his life for hers … all of these stories and more happen every day across our great nation. Bottom line – the Police are heroes, good guys with guns. The next time you see one, make sure to say thank you! But today support your local police force. They are the guys running toward the bullets when all heck breaks loose, the good guys in blue!

God Bless our Policemen!

What we have learned from all of the unfortunate events that have occurred is everyone needs to treat others – including the police – with dignity and respect. After all, we are all Americans!

(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anthony-hatcher/dont-lose-sight-of-the-go_b_7418406.html)

(http://supportthebluenow.org/positive-police-stories/)

(http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2016/07/are-blacks-disproportionately-involved-in-police-shootings.php)