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Thanksgiving Day Message (Washington, D.C)
From Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, Washington, D.C., Thursday, November 22, 2007

In 1789, President Washington proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving so that Americans might pause and express gratitude to “the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.” We have a lot of good things to be thankful for on this holiday, as on every day of the year: for our families, for the material abundance that we enjoy, and “for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed,” as Washington said in his proclamation.


Over two centuries later, many thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines are stationed all around the world, risking their lives to keep these blessings safe. Many are far from their own families and friends. Let us give thanks for them and for the difficult job they do. Let us also remember their families, whom we join in watching and praying for their safe return.


To the men and women of the United States Armed Forces, wherever you are – with your loved ones at home or deployed overseas – know that your vigilance, your strength, and your sacrifice are deeply appreciated by your countrymen. Know that Americans will be thinking about you as they gather around the Thanksgiving table.