President Obama in his weekly address recounted the fact that the American story has its origin in a small band of pilgrims who fled persecution and violence in their homeland and landed in America in1620 and the rest one could say is history.
He further said that after nearly 400 years, the country would do well to remember the role the pilgrims play in the American story and moreover, honor those who helped them in their time of need.
“Thanksgiving is a day for food and football, and for hoping the turkey didn’t turn out too dry. But it’s also a day to count our blessings and give back to others — a reminder that no matter our circumstances, all of us have something to be grateful for. Maybe it’s good health, a new addition to the family, or a child taking a next step toward college or a career. Maybe it’s a new job, or long overdue raise. Maybe it’s something as simple, and as important, as the chance to spend time with the people who matter most,” the President said.
He added that every American can be thankful for living in America, a country that believes in rights, justice, equality, and freedom.
He touted Thanksgiving as a uniquely American holiday and held that the greatness of the country comes from the generosity of its people.
“And I’ve been touched by the generosity of the Americans who’ve written me letters and emails in recent weeks, offering to open their homes to refugees fleeing the brutality of ISIL,” he noted.
He further explained that refugees cannot enter American borders until they are thoroughly vetted and noted that that has always been the case before Paris as well as now.
“And what happened in Paris hasn’t stopped Americans from opening their arms anyway,” he said.
The president also cited feedback he has received from two women:
“One woman from Pennsylvania wrote me to say, ‘Money is tight for us in my household … But i have a guest room. I have a pantry full of food. We can do this.’ ‘Another woman from Florida told me her family’s history dates back to the Mayflower — and she said that welcoming others is part of “what it means to be an American.”
President Obama underscored the fact that after nearly four centuries since Mayflower set sail, the world is still full of pilgrims — people seeking for better environment in which to live and opportunities to realize their goals.
“What makes America America is that we offer that chance. We turn Lady Liberty’s light to the world, and widen our circle of concern to say that all God’s children are worthy of our compassion and care. That’s part of what makes this the greatest country on Earth,” President Obama concluded.
Davy Desmond, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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