Thursday, November 22, 2007

President Marks Thanksgiving In Several Venues

Last week, President Bush issued a Proclamation declaring today to be Thanksgiving Day. It reads in part:
Our country was founded by men and women who realized their dependence on God and were humbled by His providence and grace. The early explorers and settlers who arrived in this land gave thanks for God's protection and for the extraordinary natural abundance they found. Since the first National Day of Thanksgiving was proclaimed by President George Washington, Americans have come together to offer thanks for our many blessings. We recall the great privilege it is to live in a land where freedom is the right of every person and where all can pursue their dreams. We express our deep appreciation for the sacrifices of the honorable men and women in uniform who defend liberty. As they work to advance the cause of freedom, our Nation keeps these brave individuals and their families in our thoughts, and we pray for their safe return.
On Monday the President spoke (full text) at Berkeley Plantation in Charles City, Virginia, which claims to be the site of the first Thanksgiving, predating that of the Pilgrims in Massachusetts. As the President recounted:
In 1619, a band of 38 settlers departed Bristol, England for Berkeley aboard a ship like the one behind me. At the end of their long voyage, the men reviewed their orders from home. And here's what the orders said: "The day of our ship's arrival h shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God." (Applause.) Upon hearing those orders, the men fell to their knees in prayer. And with this humble act of faith, the settlers celebrated their first Thanksgiving in the New World.
Finally, on Tuesday in remarks in the Rose Garden, The President issued the traditional pardon for this year's two White House turkeys, May and Flower, and sent them on to Disney World to serve as honorary Grand Marshalls in the Thanksgiving Day parade. However the White House staff has apparently found some replacements since the Thanksgiving Day menu for the President at Camp David includes Oven Roasted Turkey.