Radio Address to the Nation on the Celebration of Thanksgiving Day
My fellow Americans:
Over 350 years ago, a small band of Pilgrims, after gathering in their first harvest at Plymouth Colony, invited their friends and neighbors, who were Indians, to join them in a feast of thanksgiving. Together they sat around their bountiful table and bowed their heads in gratitude to the Lord for all that He had bestowed upon them. This week, so many years later, we, too, will gather with family and friends and, after saying grace, carve up a turkey, pass around the cranberries and dressing, and later share slices of pumpkin pie.
Americans have so much for which to be thankful. Think of the great expanse of
our nation, the rolling hills of our immense farmland. Even in years of
drought, as this year has been, the plows and the sweat of America's farmers
call forth from our good Earth more food than we can possibly eat -- so much
food that, taken together, our harvests of wheat, corn, soybeans, fruits,
vegetables, and all the other bounty of our land make up one of our most
important exports. Not only we but the entire world can be thankful for that.
Millions of children across all the continents are happier, healthier, and
stronger because of
think of our manufacturing centers. After almost a decade of hard, often
painful work, cultivating our industrial fields to meet a whole new generation
of world competition, this year we can see the first harvest of that work.
Almost every American industry is zipping along at near-full capacity. A few years
ago, journalists were calling the
the past year,
But prosperity is not an end in itself. It helps us pay attention to the more important things: raising our children as we want them to be raised, helping others in need, and bringing nations together in peace.
week, world peace has been very much on my mind. Here in
peace is another thing for which we can say a prayer of gratitude over the
dinner table on Thursday, peace and abundance in this land that God has kissed.
We will give thanks for these and one thing more: our freedom. Yes, in
Think of those around the world who cannot bow their heads in prayer without risking their lives. Think of those countries where to write an honest word or even to own a child's simple toy printing press is a crime. Think of how many countries where to dream of striking out on your own and starting a business is to take a chance not on a better life for yourself and your children but on a long stay in a prison cell. And then think of how blessed we are to be Americans.
Yes, as we gather together this Thanksgiving to ask the Lord's blessings, as we of whatever faith we are give praises to His name, let us thank Him for our peace, prosperity, and freedom.
Happy Thanksgiving! And until next week, thanks for listening, and God bless you.
Note: The President spoke at from the Oval Office at the White House.