Give thanks for good & not so good

Give thanks for good & not so good
In this Nov. 22, 1963 file photo, seen through the foreground convertible’s windshield, President John F. Kennedy’s hand reaches toward his head within seconds of being fatally shot as first lady Jacqueline Kennedy holds his forearm as the motorcade proceeds along Elm Street past the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas.
Associated Press / James W. “Ike” Altgens, File

Every year on Nov. 22, the tragic assassination of John F. Kennedy — the youngest American president ever elected — recalls the somber nostalgia of the 1963 event in Dallas, Texas that left the nation numb from shock.

Fifty-two years later, the memory of the 53rd leader of the USA resonates with reflections of his glamorous wife Jackie Bouvier, young and proud son, John and daughter Caroline. That in many of his speeches he promised a better America is already being replayed with frequency on progressive radio stations with broadcasters who list him among the most conscientious leaders of the country.

The popular, 43-year-old, Irish-Catholic was first of his religion to occupy the White House. He vowed to keep peace on earth and also planned to invest in a space program that would pioneer an era of discovery.

JFK was hardly past his first thousand days in office, when an assassin’s bullets snatched his life as his motorcade wound through the streets of the southern city.

Unfortunately, he is also remembered as the youngest president to die.

His death offered a cautionary tale that has been indelibly inscribed since that tragic November that tragedy could lurk in the most unexpected places.

Once again, before the feast, our leaders, representatives, civil servants, friends, family, loved ones, military personnel and all well-meaning individuals will reflect and probably give thanks for the legacy JFK left during his brief time in office from 1961 to 1963.


On the one day more than any other — Thanksgiving affords a pause to consider the less fortunate.

It is the day friends and family ensure everyone in America enjoy a hot meal and is reputedly the most-traveled, most consuming and most paraded to usher in Christmas.

Nov. 23, Maria Cuomo Cole — the sister of Gov. Mario Cuomo and wife of Kenneth Cole, chairman of HELP USA will kick-start a special pre-Thanksgiving lunch with homeless men and women participating in the Culinary Arts Training Program.

Scheduled to be joined by renowned chef David Burke, together they will prepare a special pre-Thanksgiving lunch for several hundred other homeless men and women who live at the HELP USA shelters on Ward’s Island (part of Randall’s Island).

According to the excited hosts, during the festive event, the governor’s sister will discuss a little bit about the highly successful holistic approach HELP USA employs to help the homeless regain their dignity.

While preparing the food, cooking expert Burke will demonstrate methods used while incorporating some produce and herbs grown at the one-acre farm at the shelters by the homeless residents in conjunction with a non-profit called Project EATS.

When the bird is done, Chef Burke will also give a very helpful lesson in how to properly carve a turkey.

Cuomo Cole is not just making a guest appearance she is an integral proponent of the pre-holiday festivity.

With help from the Culinary Arts Training program, she regularly trains homeless men and women to become line chefs and prepares many for other chef-related jobs.

HELP USA also assists the homeless in finding jobs when they graduate from the program.

Burke, the professional foodie said he has already committed to hiring several of the homeless graduates for a new venture he is starting.

A gesture which demonstrates one of the ways, individuals can help the homeless.

Another could be donating a few hours to volunteering to feed the homeless on a day when shelters are bustling with hungry and homeless individuals and families.

Many homeless shelters throughout the city readily welcome volunteers on this day to help serve the high volume of homeless men, women and children who usually make their way to the facilities knowing that a full-course meal is guaranteed.

Always to be remembered is that homelessness is not elusive to anyone — fire, unemployment, health set-back — contributors to the frequent casualty rate is reportedly the most common reasons given.

Through it all, to be cognizant that circumstance could quickly change to find anyone without a home is all that separates the fortunate from the unfortunate should be manifest.

Also, at this time of year, remembering that one year ago, Ebola plagued world travelers to and from Africa.

And that a year ago, the Caribbean diaspora feared a stinging bug virus which claimed the lives of otherwise healthy victims whose only diagnosis was that they were bitten by mosquitoes. Out of nowhere, an unfamiliar Chikunguya became part of the vernacular and a scary medical concern to more than a few.

Currently, those worries are behind us and although new fears are brewing, it is well in order to give thanks for the conquests, recoveries and victories gained.

For all its imperfections and struggles, the Caribbean region is peaceful and hope is high for posterity and development

For those reasons alone, eat hearty, enjoy your day, and always, give thanks.

Catch You On The Inside!

More from Around NYC