Faiths to Reflect, Give Thanks Together

November 19, 2006

Author: David Crumm

Source: Detroit Free Press

In the midst of World War II, in the heart of a gritty Pennsylvania mining town, an Italian immigrant woman loved to practice her English as she scrubbed pots and pans.

Every night, her children listened for her voice to rise above the clatter in the cast-iron sink, filling every corner of the little wood-frame house with the words she was struggling to pronounce: "God bless America, land that I love!"

That's the unforgettable image that Iole LeTissier, 68, and her 10-year-old granddaughter Marisa Haight will describe to the Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists expected to attend a Thanksgiving service at Big Beaver United Methodist Church in Troy at 7 p.m. today.

"Marisa and I only have five minutes to tell our family's story of coming to America, but we want to make sure people hear that part of it," LeTissier said last week. "The story shows something that nearly all of us can be thankful for -- that our families found new opportunities in this country."

After a year of global conflict and religious division, Thanksgiving remains a neutral square on the calendar.