President Joe Biden issued a proclamation for Thanksgiving, noting that Americans were grateful during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Thanksgiving gives us time to reflect on our many blessings – from God, from this nation and from one another,” Biden wrote. “We are grateful for these blessings, even – and especially – during times of challenge.”
Biden recalled that George Washington declared a Thanksgiving Day for his troops during the Revolutionary War, Abraham Lincoln celebrating Thanksgiving during the Civil War, and Pilgrims celebrating Thanksgiving after their difficult first year in America.
The President noted that just as the Pilgrims expressed their gratitude to the Wampanoag American Indians for helping them during their first year, Americans should be grateful to those who helped them through the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden specifically cited farm laborers and frontline workers to thank them, noting “many of whom are immigrants.”
He also praised teachers, parents and healthcare workers, as well as “researchers and scientists” who have helped develop vaccines against the coronavirus.
“As always, we are grateful to our troops who serve far from home, protect us and defend our values,” he wrote.
Biden described Thanksgiving as a “cherished time” with “sacred rituals” with his family, including “starting football, baking family recipes, lighting candles and setting the table.”
“For many Americans, this Thanksgiving will be the first time they meet with loved ones in person since the start of the pandemic – a time of full tables and full hearts,” he wrote.
He also said he would be close to those who have lost loved ones to the pandemic.
“As we celebrate, we’ll also think of the many families who feel the pain of an empty chair at the Thanksgiving table,” he wrote. “You are not alone and our nation is by your side.”