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President Biden thanked immigrants and frontline workers who took care of Americans’ basic needs during the pandemic, and remembered U.S. troops who have lost their lives in a Thanksgiving Day proclamation.
The president issued the proclamation on Wednesday, amid the biggest cost increase for Thanksgiving dinners the country has seen in over three decades.
Biden wrote that Thanksgiving gives Americans “a time to reflect on our many blessings.” especially “during times of challenge.”
“That is why George Washington declared a day of Thanksgiving for his troops as they marched into that dark winter at Valley Forge,” Biden proclaimed. “It is why in the midst of the Civil War — in proclaiming the Thanksgiving holiday we now celebrate today — Abraham Lincoln urged us to remember our ‘fruitful fields and healthful skies.’”
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden walk on the South Lawn of the White House after stepping off Marine One on Sunday in Washington. (AP)
“Just as 400 years ago when the Pilgrims were able to celebrate a successful first harvest thanks to the generosity and support of the Wampanoag, today we too express our gratitude for those who have helped us get through this difficult past year,” he continued.
The president gave thanks to “the farm workers and frontline workers, many of whom are immigrants,” for their work keeping “grocery stores stocked” as well as keeping “our cities and towns clean and safe.”
Biden thanked teachers getting back into the classroom as well as parents “who have carried their families through this challenging time, helping their children navigate this difficult chapter in our Nation’s history.”
Additionally, Biden thanked healthcare workers “working to vaccinate our Nation,” the scientists who developed the vaccines, and military service members.
First Lady Jill Biden also joined the president in a video message to Americans on Thanksgiving Day.
“This is always a special time in America, but this year, the blessings of Thanksgiving are especially meaningful,” Biden said.
“You know, as we gather together again, our table and our hearts are full of grace and gratitude for all those we love,” the president continued. “As Commander-in-Chief, I’m especially grateful to our service members and their families for their sacrifices to our nation.”
The first lady noted that many military families will not be able to celebrate the holiday together and expressed gratitude for their service to America.
The president said that as Americans “give thanks for what we have, we also keep in our hearts those who we’ve lost and those who have lost so much” due to COVID-19 “or another cruel twist of fate or accident.”
U.S. President Joe Biden pardons the national Thanksgiving turkey, Peanut Butter, as Phil Seger, chairman of the National Turkey Federation, and Andrea Welp, a turkey grower from Indiana, stand by during the 74th National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 19, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Vice President Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff also released a video commemorating the Thanksgiving holiday.
“With so much to be thankful for this year, we wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving!” Harris wrote.
Thanksgiving 2021 has seen the largest cost increase on U.S. consumers in 31 years, costing Americans an average 14% more this year.
One of the main drivers of the cost increase has been the rising inflation facing Americans as well as a labor shortage that has been going on for months.
The supply chain issues have also contributed to bare grocery store shelves and increasing fuel costs across the nation.