WASHINGTON, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- President Obama Thursday gave thanks to the men and women of the military and urged those more fortunate to help those in need this Thanksgiving.
"On behalf of all the Obamas -- Michelle, Malia, Sasha, Bo, and the newest member of our family, Sunny -- I want to wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving," the president said in his weekly radio and Internet address.
"We'll be spending today just like many of you -- sitting down with family and friends to eat some good food, tell stories, watch a little football, and most importantly, count our blessings. ...
"We give thanks for the men and women who set sail for this land nearly four centuries ago, risking everything for the chance at a better life -- and the people who were already here, our Native American brothers and sisters, for their generosity during that first Thanksgiving.
"We give thanks for the generations who followed -- people of all races and religions, who arrived here from every country on Earth and worked to build something better for themselves and for us.
"We give thanks for all our men and women in uniform -- and for their families, who are surely missing them very much today. We're grateful for their sacrifice too.
"We give thanks for the freedoms they defend -- the freedom to think what we want and say what we think, to worship according to our own beliefs, to choose our leaders and, yes, criticize them without punishment. People around the world are fighting and even dying for their chance at these freedoms. We stand with them in that struggle, and we give thanks for being free.
"And we give thanks to everyone who's doing their part to make the United States a better, more compassionate nation -- who spend their Thanksgiving volunteering at a soup kitchen, or joining a service project, or bringing food and cheer to a lonely neighbor. That big-hearted generosity is a central part of our American character. We believe in lending a hand to folks who need it. We believe in pitching in to solve problems even if they aren't our problems. And that's not a one-day-a-year belief. It's part of the fabric of our nation," Obama said.
The president said the hopes of the unemployed and poverty-stricken move Americans to act and provide a helping hand.
"We are a people who are greater together than we are on our own. That's what today is about. That's what every day should be about. No matter our differences, we're all part of one American family. We are each other's keeper. We are one nation, under God. That core tenet of our American experience has guided us from the earliest days of our founding – and it will guide us to a future that's even brighter than today," Obama said.
"Thank you, God bless you, and from my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving."