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Thanksgiving Day Message to the Troops
As Delivered by Secretary of Defense, Washington, DC, Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Our tradition of Thanksgiving reminds us each November of the settlers who came to the shores of America some four centuries ago to build a new society. In the years since, millions more have crossed continents and oceans in pursuit of the promise of freedom that was founded on the edge of that vast wilderness.
Today, as in other eras, that freedom is under assault. But once again, we are fortunate to count as Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines men and women willing to step forward to defend freedom. Wherever you are -- with your families at home or deployed overseas -- know that on this Thanksgiving, Americans are praying for your safety and giving heartfelt thanks to you and to your loved ones for your service.
Reflecting back on World War II, Winston Churchill said, “We gave thanks to God for the noblest of all His blessings, the sense that we had done our duty.”
One day you will similarly look back on these challenging times, and know that you did your duty -- and that you served with the same dedication shown by generations past who have defended their family’s and our nation’s freedom from the totalitarians and tyrants who have threatened it.
On this day of Thanksgiving, we offer our prayers and give thanks to the men and women of the Armed Forces, who each day stand watch against those who would harm us. May God bless and protect you. And may God continue to bless our wonderful country.