Celebrating the Spring Holidays

Weekly Address: Coming Together On Thanksgiving

Weekly Address: Coming Together On Thanksgiving


The President: Hi, everybody. On behalf of the Obama
family – Michelle, Malia, Sasha, Grandma, Bo, and
Sunny – I want to wish you a very happy Thanksgiving. Like so many of you, we’ll
spend the day with friends and family, turkey
and touchdowns. We’ll give thanks for each
other, and for all that God has given us. And we’ll reflect on what
truly binds us as Americans. That’s never been
more important. As a country, we’ve just
emerged from a noisy, passionate, and sometimes
divisive campaign season. After all, elections are
often where we emphasize what sets us apart. We face off in a contest of
“us” versus “them.” We focus on the candidate we support
instead of some of the ideals we share. But a few short weeks later,
Thanksgiving reminds us that no matter our differences,
we are still one people, part of something
bigger than ourselves. We are communities that
move forward together. We are neighbors who look
out for one another, especially those among
us with the least. We are always,
simply, Americans. That’s why, through the fog
of Civil War, President Lincoln saw what mattered
most – the unalienable truths for which so many
gave their lives, and which made possible “a new
birth of freedom.” And so precisely when the fate
of the Union hung in the balance, he boldly
proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving, when the
nation’s gifts “should be solemnly, reverently, and
gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one
voice by the whole American people.” Today, we continue to give
thanks for those blessings, and to all who ensured
that they would be our inheritance. We remember the determined
patriots who landed at the edge of the world in
search of freedom. We give thanks to the brave
men and women who defend that freedom in every
corner of the world. And we honor all people –
from the First Americans to our newest arrivals – who
continue to shape our nation’s story, enrich our
heritage, and give meaning to our founding values,
values we must never take for granted. That in America, we are
bound not by any one race or religion, but rather an
adherence to a common belief – that all of us
are created equal. That we may think, worship,
and speak, and love as we please. That the gift of democracy
is ours, and ours alone, to nurture and protect. Never doubt, that is what
makes us American – not where we come from, what we
look like, or what faith we practice, but the ideals
to which we pledge our allegiance. It’s about our capacity to
live up to the creed as old as our founding: “E Pluribus
Unum” – that out of many, we are one. And as long as we continue
to welcome the contributions of all people, as long as
we stand up for each other, speak out for what is right,
and stay true to these ideals – not just when it’s
easy, but when it’s hard – then no one can ever
take away our liberty. Our best days will
always be ahead. And we will keep building
a future where all of our children know the
promise of America. Happy Thanksgiving,
everybody.


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