Barack Obama photo

The President's Weekly Address

November 28, 2013

Hi, everybody. On behalf of all the Obamas, Michelle, Malia, Sasha, Bo, and the newest member of our family, Sunny, I want to wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. We'll be spending today just like many of you, sitting down with family and friends to eat some good food, tell some stories, and watch a little football, and most importantly, count our blessings.

And as Americans, we have so much to be thankful for. We give thanks for the men and women who set sail for this land nearly four centuries ago, risking everything for the chance at a better life, and the people who were already here, our Native American brothers and sisters, for their generosity during that first Thanksgiving. We give thanks for the generations who followed, people of all races and religions, who arrived here from every country on Earth and worked to build something better for themselves and for us.

We give thanks for all our men and women in uniform and for their families, who are surely missing them very much today. We're grateful for their sacrifice too.

We give thanks for the freedoms they defend: the freedom to think what we want and say what we think; to worship according to our own beliefs; to choose our leaders and, yes, criticize them without punishment. People around the world are fighting and even dying for their chance at these freedoms. We stand with them in that struggle, and we give thanks for being free.

And we give thanks to everyone who's doing their part to make the United States a better, more compassionate nation, who spend their Thanksgiving volunteering at a soup kitchen or joining a service project or bringing food and cheer to a lonely neighbor. That big-hearted generosity is a central part of our American character. We believe in lending a hand to folks who need it. We believe in pitching in to solve problems even if they aren't our problems. And that's not a 1-day-a-year belief, it's part of the fabric of our Nation.

And we remember that many Americans need that helping hand right now: Americans who've lost their jobs and can't get a new one through no fault of their own, Americans who have been trapped in poverty and just need that helping hand to climb out, citizens whose prayers and hopes move us to act.

We're a people who are greater together than we are on our own. And that's what today is about. That's what every day should be about. No matter what our differences, we're all part of one American family. We're each other's keepers. We are "one Nation under God." That core tenet of our American experience has guided us from the earliest days of our founding, and it will guide us to a future that's even brighter than today.

Thank you, God bless you, and from my family to yours, happy Thanksgiving.

NOTE: The address was recorded at approximately 3:20 p.m. on November 27 in the Blue Room at the White House for broadcast on November 28. The transcript was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary on November 27, but was embargoed for release until 6 a.m. on November 28.

Barack Obama, The President's Weekly Address Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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