As the nation recovers from the terrible tragedies of September 11, President George Bush said in his official Thanksgiving Proclamation, that the holiday is an opportunity for "Americans of every belief and heritage to give thanks to God for the many blessings we enjoy as a free, faithful, and fair-minded land."
The traditional address this year focuses on using Thanksgiving to find "particular assurance" during extraordinary times. The holiday, Bush said, "reminds us that we, as a people and individually, always have reason to hope and trust in God, despite great adversity."
Several Thanksgivings of the past, he said, were likewise celebrated in the "throes of great difficulty:"
In 1621 in New England, the Pilgrims gave thanks to God, in whom they placed their hope, even though a bitter winter had taken many of their brethren. In the winter of 1777, General George Washington and his army, having just suffered great misfortune, stopped near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, to give thanks to God. And there, in the throes of great difficulty, they found the hope they needed to persevere. That hope in freedom eventually inspired them to victory.
In another holiday tradition, Bush pardoned the official White House turkey. At the event, Bush told a crowd of children that, "Thanksgiving reminds us that the greatest gifts don't come from the hands of man, but from the Maker of Heaven and Earth."
He also joked that the White House has two Thanksgiving turkeys, but one was not available because "he's in a secure and undisclosed location."
Ramadan at the White House Thanksgiving is not the only holiday this week at the White House. On Monday night, Bush became the first president to ...1
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