By Milton MarianiNovember 22, 2019
FORT BENNING, GA -- Students and cadre of the Command and General Staff Officer Course took time of today to learn about Thanksgiving traditions. They experience the origins and the profound meaning it has for Americans, during a luncheon at the Fort Benning Conference Center on Wednesday.
Speaker for the event was WHINSEC's Chaplain Ismael O. Serrano, hosted by the International Military Student Office (IMSO), under the auspices of the DoD Field Studies Program (FSP). He talked about the beginnings when the pilgrims of Plymouth and the Wampanoag Indians shared their fall crops; how during two centuries Thanksgiving was celebrated by the colonies and individual states and how President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed it as a National Holiday in 1863. He continued to explained to our Partner Nation students how this holiday has evolved from the original religious significance to focusing on cooking and sharing a hearty meal with family and friends. Additionally, Voluntary support to the community has also become a traditional Thanksgiving activity, where folks often organize free lunch and dinner campaigns for those less fortunate.
The Field Studies Program is designed to give the International students a balanced view of American life outside of a classroom setting to ensure that they return to their countries with a better understanding of the responsibilities of governments, militaries, and citizens to protect, preserve, and respect the rights of every individual. The Field Studies Program specifically targets an understanding of U.S. society, institutions, ideals, and the way in which these elements reflect the U.S. commitment to basic principles of internationally recognized human rights. FSP events are an extension of the classroom, mandated by regulation in the following categories: Diversity and American Life; U.S. Government Institutions or Political Processes or Judicial System; The Free Market System or Education; Health and Human Services or Media; International Peace and Security.