Americans Give Special Thanks to U.S. Troops, Bush Says
By Petty Officer 3rd Class John R. Guardiano, USN
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 26, 2005 On this Thanksgiving Day weekend, all Americans are reminded of the debt of gratitude they owe to the men, women and families of the United States military, President Bush said today in his weekly radio address.
"We are grateful to the men and women of our armed forces for securing the peace in these dangerous times," the president said. "They are serving with courage and skill in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere to defend our freedom and extend the blessings of freedom to others."
Bush noted that U.S. military service today is demanding; it often includes "long deployments and separations from home." And those left behind stateside, he added, also face difficult challenges because they "must deal with the burden of raising families, while praying for the safe return of their loved ones."
"All Americans," the president said, "honor and appreciate the commitment and sacrifice of our military families."
Bush singled out fallen servicemen and women for special praise. "Every person who dies in the line of duty," he said, "commands the eternal gratitude of the American people. The military families who mourn the fallen can know that America will not forget their sacrifice -- and they can know that we will honor that sacrifice by completing the noble mission for which their loved ones gave their lives."
The president noted that troops fighting in the global war on terrorism have achieved great success. Indeed, because the U.S. military is fighting terrorists abroad, "we do not have to face (terrorists) here at home," he explained.
U.S. troops, Bush added, also have "helped the people of Iraq and Afghanistan hold historic and successful elections." The nation's servicemen and women, he said, "are America's finest, and we thank them today and every day for their service and sacrifice."
The president observed that Thanksgiving is a national holiday during which Americans give thanks for the many blessings of liberty.
"We are thankful," Bush said, "for our family and friends, who fill our lives with joy and love. We are thankful for the abundance of this prosperous land. We are thankful for the freedom that makes possible the enjoyment of all these gifts. And we acknowledge with humility that all these blessings -- and life itself -- come from almighty God."
Americans recognize, Bush said, that because they are so blessed, they have an obligation to help those who are less fortunate.
"The Thanksgiving holiday," he explained, "reminds us that, 'to whom much is given, from him much will be required.' As we count our blessings, we are mindful of the need to share our blessings and gifts with others -- and America is moved to compassionate action."
Bush said that such compassionate action is manifest in Americans' generous response to the victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. But "the universal call to love a neighbor," he added, "also extends beyond our shores, moving us to help people in other lands."
Bush noted that America also "has begun to help the millions of people in Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan who are suffering after last month's devastating earthquake in South Asia."