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#1 Nov 24, 2017 1:53 pm

Real Distwalker
Active

Thanksgiving 1983

Thanksgiving on Pt. Salines, 1983. We had turkey, stuffing, gravy and shrimp cocktail. It was great. Then we all got food poisoning and puked and crapped our guts out for the next 24-36 hours. smile

Happy Thanksgiving!

23755762_881216608702716_1267805775909193331_n.jpg?oh=deed0e38691cfe4bd2d71b66510ea8d7&oe=5A9CB03C

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#2 Nov 24, 2017 3:12 pm

Calypso
Active

Re: Thanksgiving 1983

Real Distwalker wrote:

Thanksgiving on Pt. Salines, 1983. We had turkey, stuffing, gravy and shrimp cocktail. It was great. Then we all got food poisoning and puked and crapped our guts out for the next 24-36 hours. smile

Happy Thanksgiving!

https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/ … e=5A9CB03C

What a grim Thanksgiving you had in '83.

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#3 Nov 24, 2017 6:17 pm

New Historian
Active

Re: Thanksgiving 1983

I've heard that that Thanksgiving was a spontaneous outpouring of thanks and affection to you soldiers from the Grenadian people, who made up for your lack of turkeys with good old Grenadian chicken and rice-an-peas! True?

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#4 Nov 24, 2017 6:21 pm

Real Distwalker
Active

Re: Thanksgiving 1983

I posted the same thing on a Facebook page devoted to veterans of the invasion.  A lot of those guys had experiences just like that.  Some had chickens given to them.  On Carriacou one local invited the troops to go shoot two of his goats and he prepared a feast of curry goat for the troops.  Some said they were stuck with C-rations, however.

I was clear out at the west and of the runway on Pt. Salines that day and didn't see any local folks.

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#5 Nov 24, 2017 6:36 pm

New Historian
Active

Re: Thanksgiving 1983

It's a nice story all the same, and is part of the mythology of the beginnings of Grenada's own Thanksgiving Day. Which I wrote about a while ago:

An American university professor, upon leaving the office on Friday evening, remembering that the following day was a national holiday, cast a parting remark to his Grenadian colleagues:

“Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!”

He later described their reaction:

“My God! They all just glared at me, and nobody said a word. Talk about a non-reaction!”

That’s what you get in Grenada, when you bring up the subject of October 25th, 1983: people don’t want to talk about it. Especially to foreigners. It’s not an episode that Grenadians (of a certain age) want to remember, let alone celebrate. However, October 19th is a different matter altogether. The tragic events of that day are seared into Grenada’s national consciousness, a cataclysm that shook Grenada to its foundations.

For the few who don’t know; just six days prior to the US intervention/invasion/rescue mission call it what you will, Grenada’s four-year experiment in revolutionary socialism came to a sickening, bloody end. At the end of that tragic day, the country’s hugely popular (if unelected) Prime Minister, Maurice Bishop, and a still unknown number of his followers, were brutally gunned down by their former comrades in the People’s Revolutionary Army. The Revo had devoured its own. For good, bad or evil; October 19th 1983 is a day that Grenadians will never forget. It was our darkest hour; certainly within living memory.

So no one was particularly surprised when America invaded Grenada, just before dawn on 25th October 1983; the only surprise was the speed with which it happened. This was a result of a happy coincidence: an amphibious task force just happened en route from North Carolina to Lebanon, when they got a call to head south and clean up a little trouble in a place called Grenada Where’s that? They really did only have tourist maps, and the combat stories depicted in “Heartbreak Ridge”, Clint Eastwood’s low-key movie about Operation Urgent Fury, really did happen. As an aside: who in the US military comes up with those corny Doctor Strangelove-era “secret” code names? Urgent Fury, Shock and Awe; what next: Sh*t and Piss?

Of course the inevitable happened: Goliath won. Not as quickly or painlessly as Big G would have liked, but win they did. And indeed, Grenada was the poster child for the grateful natives – we couldn’t shower our American liberators with more genuine kindness and gratitude than we did. Thank-you Reagan murals spontaneously appeared on walls, bemused American GI’s accepted the gushing appreciation of an entire nation: young and old; male and female; young and female.

Mind you, by the time the liberators had landed, the entire nation - collectively and individually - was still reeling from the emotional trauma of the past six days. If Martian soldiers had landed that morning, they would have been feted as conquering heroes, and Grenada would now have a lot of half-Martians walking around today. On that first Thanksgiving Day, which the American soldiers were celebrating, the people of Grenada spontaneously warmed to the idea, and in a touching display of appreciation, showered the soldiers with a Grenadian version of a Thanksgiving dinner , in villages and beaches throughout the island. Our local leaders, latching onto a good thing, declared that henceforth, October 25th would be celebrated as “Thanksgiving Day” – essentially saying: Thanks America, for freeing we.

Fast forward 31 years, and what do we have? This most moribund of holidays; a speech here and there; bored politicians trotting out well-worn phrases. Basically, it’s just another day off – which this year falls on a Saturday, dammit.

Really, isn’t it about time we did away with this fawning foolishness? Judging by the lack of reaction or any kind of connection that this holiday has with “the masses”, one really has to say: this is a meaningless holiday. Hey, we all like another day off, but if we want to have a holiday with meaning; how about we just move the date up just a little – to 19th October. And how about we change the name, to something like Remembrance Day? Something that means something. For good or bad, 19th October is a date that is loaded with Grenadian historical significance; and it strikes me that this would be a more appropriate day for some national reflection and soul-searching; than on the day the invasion came. When a still unknown number of Grenadians and Cubans died; when an also unknown number of mental patients died when they were bombed by mistake. That’s something to celebrate? Instead, let us remember and reflect upon the chain of events that got us to that sad state of affairs in the first place; and reaffirm that such a tragedy will never be repeated in Grenada; that we will never again put dogma before life.

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#6 Nov 24, 2017 6:45 pm

Real Distwalker
Active

Re: Thanksgiving 1983

I get it.  When your house is on fire, you are happy when the fire trucks come and you thank the firefighters.  That doesn't mean that your house burning is part of a good day.

Look, there is no doubt that a lot of Grenadians were glad we were there but that doesn't mean that any part of October 1983 after the 19th was good for Grenadians.  It was a terrible thing to happen. 

The point is that it is possible for Grenadians to be pleased we were there even if the fact that it happened represented a national disaster.

People want things to be so simple.  Well, they are not.  I think Grenada should probably bag October 25th as Thanksgiving.  It is demeaning.  If it is to be marked at all, it should be as some type of memorial day.

Last edited by Real Distwalker (Nov 24, 2017 6:51 pm)

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#7 Nov 24, 2017 6:49 pm

New Historian
Active

Re: Thanksgiving 1983

Exactly.

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#8 Nov 25, 2017 9:21 am

Dancer
Active

Re: Thanksgiving 1983

New Historian wrote:

It's a nice story all the same, and is part of the mythology of the beginnings of Grenada's own Thanksgiving Day. Which I wrote about a while ago:

An American university professor, upon leaving the office on Friday evening, remembering that the following day was a national holiday, cast a parting remark to his Grenadian colleagues:

“Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!”

He later described their reaction:

“My God! They all just glared at me, and nobody said a word. Talk about a non-reaction!”

That’s what you get in Grenada, when you bring up the subject of October 25th, 1983: people don’t want to talk about it. Especially to foreigners. It’s not an episode that Grenadians (of a certain age) want to remember, let alone celebrate. However, October 19th is a different matter altogether. The tragic events of that day are seared into Grenada’s national consciousness, a cataclysm that shook Grenada to its foundations.

For the few who don’t know; just six days prior to the US intervention/invasion/rescue mission call it what you will, Grenada’s four-year experiment in revolutionary socialism came to a sickening, bloody end. At the end of that tragic day, the country’s hugely popular (if unelected) Prime Minister, Maurice Bishop, and a still unknown number of his followers, were brutally gunned down by their former comrades in the People’s Revolutionary Army. The Revo had devoured its own. For good, bad or evil; October 19th 1983 is a day that Grenadians will never forget. It was our darkest hour; certainly within living memory.

So no one was particularly surprised when America invaded Grenada, just before dawn on 25th October 1983; the only surprise was the speed with which it happened. This was a result of a happy coincidence: an amphibious task force just happened en route from North Carolina to Lebanon, when they got a call to head south and clean up a little trouble in a place called Grenada Where’s that? They really did only have tourist maps, and the combat stories depicted in “Heartbreak Ridge”, Clint Eastwood’s low-key movie about Operation Urgent Fury, really did happen. As an aside: who in the US military comes up with those corny Doctor Strangelove-era “secret” code names? Urgent Fury, Shock and Awe; what next: Sh*t and Piss?

Of course the inevitable happened: Goliath won. Not as quickly or painlessly as Big G would have liked, but win they did. And indeed, Grenada was the poster child for the grateful natives – we couldn’t shower our American liberators with more genuine kindness and gratitude than we did. Thank-you Reagan murals spontaneously appeared on walls, bemused American GI’s accepted the gushing appreciation of an entire nation: young and old; male and female; young and female.

Mind you, by the time the liberators had landed, the entire nation - collectively and individually - was still reeling from the emotional trauma of the past six days. If Martian soldiers had landed that morning, they would have been feted as conquering heroes, and Grenada would now have a lot of half-Martians walking around today. On that first Thanksgiving Day, which the American soldiers were celebrating, the people of Grenada spontaneously warmed to the idea, and in a touching display of appreciation, showered the soldiers with a Grenadian version of a Thanksgiving dinner , in villages and beaches throughout the island. Our local leaders, latching onto a good thing, declared that henceforth, October 25th would be celebrated as “Thanksgiving Day” – essentially saying: Thanks America, for freeing we.

Fast forward 31 years, and what do we have? This most moribund of holidays; a speech here and there; bored politicians trotting out well-worn phrases. Basically, it’s just another day off – which this year falls on a Saturday, dammit.

Really, isn’t it about time we did away with this fawning foolishness? Judging by the lack of reaction or any kind of connection that this holiday has with “the masses”, one really has to say: this is a meaningless holiday. Hey, we all like another day off, but if we want to have a holiday with meaning; how about we just move the date up just a little – to 19th October. And how about we change the name, to something like Remembrance Day? Something that means something. For good or bad, 19th October is a date that is loaded with Grenadian historical significance; and it strikes me that this would be a more appropriate day for some national reflection and soul-searching; than on the day the invasion came. When a still unknown number of Grenadians and Cubans died; when an also unknown number of mental patients died when they were bombed by mistake. That’s something to celebrate? Instead, let us remember and reflect upon the chain of events that got us to that sad state of affairs in the first place; and reaffirm that such a tragedy will never be repeated in Grenada; that we will never again put dogma before life.


...........................

Well the above was one of a  'real' over view of a troubling time.   That I have read on TS.  Very cool.
The last paragraph is the one I think is 'thoughtful' ....

Holiday .... but  the wrong word.
It would not be a holiday . It is a remembrance day ,  a forgiveness day , leading to healing .
The 19th should be called   Reconciliation day.

Day  of Peace and forgiveness ..... love,  is the answer.  it is said.

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#9 Nov 26, 2017 7:40 am

Slice
Active

Re: Thanksgiving 1983

Real Distwalker wrote:

I posted the same thing on a Facebook page devoted to veterans of the invasion.  A lot of those guys had experiences just like that.  Some had chickens given to them.  On Carriacou one local invited the troops to go shoot two of his goats and he prepared a feast of curry goat for the troops.  Some said they were stuck with C-rations, however.

I was clear out at the west and of the runway on Pt. Salines that day and didn't see any local folks.

Those kinds of things would not of been known, if you were not there.  It took me years to get pass the invasion of Grenada, but we are very lucky here on Talkshop, because of your involvement.

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