The President's Weekly Address
From my family to yours, I'd like to wish you a happy Thanksgiving. Like millions of Americans, Michelle, Malia, Sasha, and I will spend the day eating great food, watching a little football, and reflecting on how truly lucky we are.
As Americans, each of us has our own list of things and people to be thankful for. But there are some blessings we all share.
We're especially grateful for the men and women who defend our country overseas. To all the servicemembers eating Thanksgiving dinner far from your families: The American people are thinking of you today. And when you come home, we intend to make sure that we serve you as well as you're serving America.
We're also grateful for the Americans who are taking time out of their holiday to serve in soup kitchens and shelters, making sure their neighbors have a hot meal and a place to stay. This sense of mutual responsibility--the idea that I am my brother's keeper, that I am my sister's keeper--has always been part of what makes our country special. And it's one of the reasons the Thanksgiving tradition has endured.
The very first Thanksgiving was a celebration of community during a time of great hardship, and we have followed that example ever since. Even when the fate of our Union was far from certain--during a Civil War, two World Wars, a Great Depression--Americans drew strength from each other. They had faith that tomorrow would be better than today.
We're grateful that they did. As we gather around the table, we pause to remember the pilgrims, pioneers, and patriots who helped make this country what it is. They faced impossible odds, and yet somehow, they persevered. Today, it's our turn.
I know that for many of you, this Thanksgiving is more difficult than most. But no matter how tough things are right now, we still give thanks for that most American of blessings, the chance to determine our own destiny. The problems we face didn't develop overnight, and we won't solve them overnight. But we will solve them. All it takes is for each of us to do our part.
With all the partisanship and gridlock here in Washington, it's easy to wonder if such unity is really possible. But think about what's happening at this very moment: Americans from all walks of life are coming together as one people, grateful for the blessings of family, community, and country.
If we keep that spirit alive, if we support each other and look out for each other and remember that we're all in this together, then I know that we too will overcome the challenges of our time.
So today I'm thankful to serve as your President and Commander and Chief. I'm thankful that my daughters get to grow up in this great country of ours. And I'm thankful for the chance to do my part as, together, we make tomorrow better than today.
Thanks, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Note: The address was recorded at approximately 12:45 p.m. on November 23 in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House for broadcast on November 24. The transcript was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary on November 23, but was embargoed for release until 6 a.m. on November 24.
Barack Obama, The President's Weekly Address Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/298306