This year, Thanksgiving comes on Nov. 22, the 49th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
On Nov. 22, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald killed President Kennedy from a window high up in the Texas School Observatory. Controversy has remained for decades over the Kennedy assassination, with conspiracy theories including anyone from the Mafia to the Soviet Union, from Cuba to the CIA as possible planners.
The Warren Commission, which did the final official report, said Oswald acted alone. That's possible, given that he had a sharpshooter rating while in the Marine Corps.
Whether Oswald acted alone or in concert with someone else, what is undeniable is the profound impact Kennedy's assassination had on the national mood for decades to come - a mood that continues to persist to this day.
America was still buoyant after winning World War II and the economic boom that followed. The 1950s and early 60s were a time of enormous optimism, an optimism that was crushed with the Kennedy assassination.
Regardless of political party, the Thanksgiving of 1963 was sad indeed. Instead of sharing family stories with family and friends, people could think only of losing their President.
The lasting effects of the Kennedy assassination will only no longer be with us when those last people who remember it are gone. Only then will the aftermath be over.
What we can do, though, is continue to honor the memory of a President who had the respect of both political parties and whose reputation only grew after his death. Listen to Kennedy's inaugural address, and you hear the words of a visionary.
While there's no sense in dwelling on tragedies of the past, we can't help think of them. But we can change those memories by supporting our leaders, by respecting and helping them when we can.
And yes, we can honor their memories when they're gone. Because they truly deserve it.