Trump mentioned the “selfless commitment” of those serving the country who couldn’t be with their families, as well as the work by law enforcement officials and first responders. He also saluted them for their efforts in safeguarding the country and commended their “immeasurable sacrifices.”
“This Thanksgiving, we pause and acknowledge those who will have empty seats at their table,” he said. “We ask God to watch over our service members, especially those whose selfless commitment to serving our country and defending our sacred liberty has called them to duty overseas during the holiday season.”
In his proclamation, Trump paid homage to the historical elements of Thanksgiving, describing the first one celebrated nearly four centuries ago as “an enduring symbol of gratitude that is uniquely sewn into the fabric of our American spirit.”
Trump also encouraged all Americans to gather in their homes or places of worship “to offer a prayer of thanks to God for our many blessings.”
“As we gather today with those we hold dear, let us give thanks to Almighty God for the many blessings we enjoy,” Trump said. “United together as one people, in gratitude for the freedoms and prosperity that thrive across our land, we acknowledge God as the source of all good gifts.”
A few days prior, Trump observed the annual White House tradition of pardoning turkeys. This year, it was two lucky birds named Bread and Butter that were pardoned during a ceremony at the White House. The pardoning tradition was first started in 1989 by then-President George H.W. Bush.
At one point during the pardoning ceremony, Trump made a joke about the pair of turkeys, saying that the birds selected this year were specifically bred to “remain calm under any circumstance.”
“That’s good because they’ve already received subpoenas to appear in Adam Schiff’s basement,” Trump said, adding later that the “Democrats are accusing me of being too soft on Turkey.”
Trump, in his proclamation, often emphasized the power of Americans to show gratitude and said the nation must show it to those who protect and continue to protect the country.
“Since the first settlers to call our country home landed on American shores, we have always been defined by our resilience and propensity to show gratitude even in the face of great adversity, always remembering the blessings we have been given in spite of the hardships we endure,” he said in his proclamation.
“As a Nation, we owe a debt of gratitude to both those who take an oath to safeguard us and our way of life as well as to their families, and we salute them for their immeasurable sacrifices.”
Earlier this month, Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attended New York’s iconic Veterans Day Parade, where the president honored veterans in a speech. Trump made history as the first president to accept an invitation to the largest commemoration of service in the nation.
Trump recognized the veterans of World War II in the audience and said this year’s parade specifically honored the U.S. Marine Corps, which recently celebrated its 244th anniversary.