Happy Thanksgiving (Wed at 7:01pm)
Over three hundred years ago, a group of settlers fleeing religious persecution decided to set a new course for human history in a new frontier. Those early pioneers chose a rocky shoreline to establish their way of life. Centuries later, America continues to set the example of what can come from a free and hardworking people. We truly remain the shining city upon a hill that the colonial leader John Winthrop implored us to be.
What started as a small colony in the territory that would eventually become the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has progressed into the greatest and most prosperous nation in history. Americans remain the freest people on earth because of our cherished Constitution and the system of government it establishes.
We have so much to be thankful for. We should recognize especially the sacrifices made on our behalf by those in uniform. Thousands of Americans will be spending Thanksgiving overseas in combat zones in order to protect our liberty and way of life. We should give thanks to those who willingly put their lives on the line for the rest of us. Where would we be without them?
We are also thankful for what God has granted us. We are truly blessed in America with rich natural resources, plentiful energy sources, fertile land, beautiful cities, and the talented and industrious people we call “our fellow Americans.” We pray that God will continue to bless us.
In his farewell address to the nation, President Reagan reminded us that “all great change in America begins at the dinner table.” Thanksgiving is an opportunity to discuss where we are as a nation at this moment in our history and where we should be heading in order to remain prosperous and free. Take time to discuss these things with each other, and take time to teach the young people in your family about our nation’s history so that they may never forget all that we have to be proud of and thankful for.
- Sarah Palin
Contrast these remarks with what follow:
Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama
Thursday, November 26, 2009
For centuries, in peace and in war, in prosperity and in adversity, Americans have paused at this time of year to gather with loved ones and give thanks for life’s blessings. This week, we carry on this distinctly American tradition. All across our country, folks are coming together to spend time with family, to catch up with old friends, to cook and enjoy a big dinner – and maybe to watch a little football in between.
As always, we give thanks for the kindness of loved ones, for the joys of the previous year, and for the pride we feel in our communities and country. We keep in our thoughts and prayers the many families marking this Thanksgiving with an empty seat – saved for a son or daughter, or husband or wife, stationed in harm’s way. And we say a special thanks for the sacrifices those men and women in uniform are making for our safety and freedom, and for all those Americans who enrich the lives of our communities through acts of kindness, generosity and service.
But as much as we all have to be thankful for, we also know that this year millions of Americans are facing very difficult economic times. Many have lost jobs in this recession – the worst in generations. Many more are struggling to afford health care premiums and house payments, let alone to save for an education or retirement. Too many are wondering if the dream of a middle class life – that American Dream – is slipping away. It’s the worry I hear from folks across the country; good, hard-working people doing the best they can for their families – but fearing that their best just isn’t good enough. These are not strangers. They are our family, our friends, and our neighbors. Their struggles must be our concern.
That’s why we passed the Recovery Act that cut taxes for 95 percent of working people and for small businesses – and that extended unemployment benefits and health coverage for millions of Americans who lost their jobs in this turmoil. That’s why we are reforming the health care system so that middle-class families have affordable insurance that cannot be denied because of a pre-existing condition or taken away because you happen to get sick. We’ve worked to stem the tide of foreclosures and to stop the decline in home values. We’re making it easier to save for retirement and more affordable to send a son or daughter to college.
The investments we have made and tough steps we have taken have helped break the back of the recession, and now our economy is finally growing again. But as I said when I took office, job recovery from this crisis would not come easily or quickly. Though the job losses we were experiencing earlier this year have slowed dramatically, we’re still not creating enough new jobs each month to make up for the ones we’re losing. And no matter what the economists say, for families and communities across the country, this recession will not end until we completely turn that tide.
So we’ve made progress. But we cannot rest – and my administration will not rest – until we have revived this economy and rebuilt it stronger than before; until we are creating jobs and opportunities for middle class families; until we have moved beyond the cycles of boom and bust – of reckless risk and speculation – that led us to so much crisis and pain these past few years.
Next week, I’ll be meeting with owners of large and small businesses, labor leaders, and non-for-profits from across the country, to talk about the additional steps we can take to help spur job creation. I will work with the Congress to enact them quickly. And it is my fervent hope – and my heartfelt expectation – that next Thanksgiving we will be able to celebrate the fact that many of those who have lost their jobs are back at work, and that as a nation we will have come through these difficult storms stronger and wiser and grateful to have reached a brighter day.
Thank you, God bless you, and from my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.
Who do you think embodies the true spirit of thankfulness?