“The pilgrims thought it was pretty important in tough times to come together and thank God, to be grateful for what we have,” Biden said.
“It’s a wonderful Thanksgiving tradition here at the White House,” U.S. President Joe Biden told his audience on Monday during the annual White House Turkey Pardon ceremony.
The lighthearted event gave President Biden an excellent opportunity to showcase his folksy political charm and remind a would-be grateful nation to count its blessings this year.
“They listened to a lot of music, I’m told, in order to prepare for the crowd noise today,” Biden said of Chocolate and Chip. “That’s pretty — that’s real hard work. And they interacted with the children to show their softer side. Sounds like another flock hoping to come to Washington in 2024.”
“Of course, Chocolate is my favorite — Chocolate is my favorite ice cream, so I — but I could’ve — we could’ve named them CHIPS and Science, but — anyway,” Biden joked.
“Still alive: American democracy, Biden’s bad jokes — and two turkeys,” quipped The Guardian of the event.
“No Fowl Play’: Biden Pardons a Pair of Thanksgiving Turkeys,” chirped the New York Times. “The only ‘red wave’ this holiday season, President Biden said, would be if his German shepherd ‘knocks over the cranberry sauce.’”
While this Thanksgiving is costing Americans much more this year due to inflation, next year might be even more economically tumultuous. Economists and experts are throwing around the word “recession” with increasing frequency as the final quarter of 2022 draws to a close.
Troubles behind, troubles ahead; it’s the story of humanity and it’s true every Thanksgiving, 2022 and 2023 included.
But President Biden is correct in reminding his fellow Americans, in his signature folksy style, how much we have to be thankful for this season.
“We can’t forget the reason for Thanksgiving in the first place,” President Biden told attendees of the annual White House Turkey Pardon. “The pilgrims thought it was pretty important in tough times to come together and thank God, to be grateful for what we have.”
“That’s what the Thanksgiving tradition is all about: being grateful for what we have and grateful for fellow Americans who we may never meet,” Biden went on.
“And think about the scientists and researchers, doctors and nurses keeping us safe through the pandemic,” he reminded his audience. “Two years ago, we couldn’t even safely have Thanksgiving with large family gatherings. Now we can. That’s progress, and let’s keep it going.”
President Biden took the opportunity to encourage COVID-19 vaccines and flu shots this winter.
“We have new COVID vaccine updates to deal with new variants to protect you and your loved ones,” Biden said. “So, get it today. Get your flu shots as well. This winter can be a — much happier than recent holiday seasons, but you have to do your part. Please visit Vaccines.gov. Decide what you’re going to do.”
“We’re also are grateful for frontline workers that are keeping essential services going, and growing and providing food for our tables,” Biden continued. “We’re grateful for our faith leaders and their counsel and comfort and support.”
President Biden also took the opportunity to thank the troops.
“Later today, Jill and I are going to be flying down to North Carolina — to Cherry Point, North Carolina — for a Friendsgiving, where we’ll be serving Thanksgiving dinner to troops and military families to demonstrate our gratitude for their service and sacrifice,” Biden said.
“And so many of those families are missing someone at their table today, like our family,” he went on. “So many military folks that we have lost. And so, there’s just really — it’s important to keep them in our hearts, those who have lost so much and those who are going to have an empty seat at their table this Thanksgiving.”
“This is a special time and the — in the greatest nation on Earth, so let’s be grateful,” Biden implored. “Scripture says, ‘Let us rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances.’”
“Folks, let’s remember — all the political fighting that goes on that you read about — let’s remember one thing: This is the United States of America — the United States of America,” Biden said. “ There’s not a single, solitary thing beyond our capacity as a nation — nothing beyond our capacity — if we do it together, united. United.”
“From the Biden family to all of yours, Happy Thanksgiving,” Biden closed before thanking his audience for attending the celebration. “And may God bless you all. And may God protect our troops.”
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)