The announcement jolted them as if a lightning bolt had ripped apart the menacing clouds hovering above.
Those not weeping or marching about in righteous outrage were stupefied, their features glazed with the torment of a future bereft of promise.
The hope and anticipation that brightened so many of their Thanksgivings was shattered by the cheery analysis of a sixty second media report.
It was little more than a year since the people celebrated the election of the first independent party candidate to the presidency of the United States.
He was a plain-spoken man who promised to heal the nation and to lead with boldness and innovation. They trusted him. In the spirit of unity, he pledged the great nation so many of them had served so well would never abandon the values and traditions that made it the envy of the world.
He betrayed them, however; betrayed their children and grandchildren and every generation to follow.
They were fools for believing him and now the most sacred tradition of their bloodline was lost.
Traditions are the mortar bonding a society to its past and to its values and institutions that define it, and on this day a new tradition was birthed, an old one laid to rest.
This Wednesday, this blessed day before Thanksgiving, became their Day of Sorrow, and their lament could be heard throughout the land.
Suddenly, a cry startled them. From a distance, they saw them coming, their pace deliberate, their features proclaiming the outcome.
For the first time, a president of the United States failed to pardon the presidential turkey