Good morning. Thanksgiving this year comes 72 days after a terrible national
shock, an act of evil that caused, and continues to cause, so much suffering.
Yet, the evil the terrorists intended has resulted in good they never expected.
And this holiday season, Americans have much to be thankful for.
We're thankful for the character of our fellow citizens who are flying flags
and donating to charity and comforting those who grieve. Americans have aided
the families of victims, and the starving children of Afghanistan, half a world
away. This country has a good and generous heart.
We're thankful for the decency of the American people who have stood for the
American tradition of tolerance and religious liberty -- a tradition that has
welcomed and protected generations of immigrants from every faith and background.
We are thankful for new heroes -- police officers and firefighters and emergency
workers, who have renewed our respect for public service and provided lasting
lessons in courage.
We're thankful for the men and women of our military, who are defending our
lives and liberty with such skill, honor and success.
We're thankful, this year even more intensely, for our lives and our families,
and the love of those around us. Americans are remembering what really matters
-- holding our children more closely, giving them more time.
And we're thankful to God, who turned suffering into strength, and grief into
grace. Offering thanks in the midst of tragedy is an American tradition, perhaps
because, in times of testing, our dependence on God is so clear.
The Pilgrims gave thanks even after the many deaths of a bitter winter. Abraham
Lincoln proclaimed days of national thanksgiving even during a bloody Civil
War. Lincoln asked God to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as
soon as it may be consistent with the divine purposes, to the full enjoyment
of peace, harmony, tranquility. We pray for this goal, and we work for it.
In America, blessings are meant to be shared, and out Thanksgiving is revealed
in concern for others. At this season, Laura and I hope you'll find ways to
reach out and share your blessings and talents in your own communities -- tutor
or mentor a child; volunteer in a hospital; support our troops by becoming active
in the USO; comfort those who feel afraid; show your kindness to a Muslim neighbor;
help someone in need of shelter, or food, or words of hope; and continue to
pray for America.
We will face difficult times ahead. The fight we have begun will not be quickly
or easily finished. Our enemies hide and plot in many nations. They are devious
and ruthless. Yet we are confident in the justice of our cause. We will fight
for as long as it takes, and we will prevail.
May God grant us patience, resolve, and wisdom in all that is to come. Happy
Thanksgiving, and thank you for listening.