Presidential Weekly Address - 23 November 2017
My fellow Americans,
Melania and I would like to wish you a pleasant and joyful Thanksgiving. Nearly 400 years ago the pilgrims gathered with Native Americans to give thanks to their first harvest. Just over a year before in September of 1620, the pilgrims set sail on the Mayflower to settle a new land where they could live and worship freely.
They came to this continent with few resources, but rich in faith, courage, and dreams. They endured a treacherous voyage across the ocean and long days inside the ship's cabin as storms raged wild. Then when the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth, their first act was to pray. Soon, they persevered through the months of bitter winter.
With the help of Squanto and the Wampanoag tribe, they survived and began to build a new home for their families. On their first Thanksgiving, they came together to rejoice after their harvest and praise God for His provision. Since then Americans have always remembered the blessings of freedom and the glory of God. In his first year as president George Washington proclaimed a day of public thanksgiving and prayer.
He asked all citizens to unite in sincere and humble thanks for God's providence, and the founding of our country, and in the midst of the Civil War President Lincoln made the last Thursday in November a national holiday. He called on Americans to come together with one heart and one voice to thank God for his gracious gifts, and to ask him to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it.
Today, we give thanks for all of the pilgrims, pioneers, and patriots who have gone before us, and for all those warriors who have kept us safe and free. This week we know that thousands of men and women in uniform won't be able to come home for Thanksgiving. They are standing watch around the world facing down our enemies and defending our great American flag. We are eternally grateful for their courage, heroism, and sacrifice.
We also think Americans at home who serve their fellow Americans in need of a helping hand. Families who care for the sick, bring food to the hungry and provide a loving home to children across the country. This year, in the face of painful hardships, we have seen the incredible strength of the American spirit. Neighbors helping neighbors, strangers helping strangers, and citizens reaching out for those in need.
We pray for the Americans impacted by the devastating storms and wildfires that struck our nation. We mourn for the victims of the horrible shootings that stole so many innocent lives. And we thank God for the police firefighters paramedics and rescue workers who put themselves in harm's way to save others.
The people of this nation come from all different backgrounds, but we are all one people and one American family. We all share the same heart, the same home, and the same glorious destiny. And we are all bound together by the common bonds of love, loyalty, and affection that make our country into a wonderful home.
Together, we give thanks for the loved ones who graced our lives and for the heroes who protect our nation, and we asked for God's continued blessings on this magnificent land. Our country is doing very well. Our stock market has hit a new all-time high.
Unemployment is at a 17-year low. We've created five and a half trillion dollars worth of values. We are doing something very special. People are feeling it. The enthusiasm in this country has never been higher. We're very, very happy on this Thanksgiving Day.
Thank you. God bless you, and God bless America.