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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 24, 2001
Radio Address by the President To the Nation
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Thanksgiving this year comes 72 days after a terrible national shock, an act of evil that caused, and continues to cause, so much suffering. Yet, the evil the terrorists intended has resulted in good they never expected. And this holiday season, Americans have much to be thankful for.
We're thankful for the character of our fellow citizens who are flying flags and donating to charity and comforting those who grieve. Americans have aided the families of victims, and the starving children of Afghanistan, half a world away. This country has a good and generous heart.
We're thankful for the decency of the American people who have stood for the American tradition of tolerance and religious liberty -- a tradition that has welcomed and protected generations of immigrants from every faith and background.
We are thankful for new heroes -- police officers and firefighters and emergency workers, who have renewed our respect for public service and provided lasting lessons in courage.
We're thankful for the men and women of our military, who are defending our lives and liberty with such skill, honor and success.
We're thankful, this year even more intensely, for our lives and our families, and the love of those around us. Americans are remembering what really matters -- holding our children more closely, giving them more time.
And we're thankful to God, who turned suffering into strength, and grief into grace. Offering thanks in the midst of tragedy is an American tradition, perhaps because, in times of testing, our dependence on God is so clear.
The Pilgrims gave thanks even after the many deaths of a bitter winter. Abraham Lincoln proclaimed days of national thanksgiving even during a bloody Civil War. Lincoln asked God to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as it may be consistent with the divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility. We pray for this goal, and we work for it.
In America, blessings are meant to be shared, and out Thanksgiving is revealed in concern for others. At this season, Laura and I hope you'll find ways to reach out and share your blessings and talents in your own communities -- tutor or mentor a child; volunteer in a hospital; support our troops by becoming active in the USO; comfort those who feel afraid; show your kindness to a Muslim neighbor; help someone in need of shelter, or food, or words of hope; and continue to pray for America.
We will face difficult times ahead. The fight we have begun will not be quickly or easily finished. Our enemies hide and plot in many nations. They are devious and ruthless. Yet we are confident in the justice of our cause. We will fight for as long as it takes, and we will prevail.
May God grant us patience, resolve, and wisdom in all that is to come. Happy Thanksgiving, and thank you for listening.