Thanksgiving Day, 1997BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Another year has passed on our American journey. The seasons have completed another cycle, and it is harvest time in America. Once again, millions of us will gather with family and friends to give thanks to God for the many blessings that He has bestowed upon us.
This Thanksgiving Day, as every day, we are grateful for the gift of freedom, for the vision made real by our Nation's founders and preserved by the courage, vigilance, and sacrifice of generations of Americans. We are thankful for the bounty and beauty of this great land, which has welcomed so many to its shores across the years. We cherish the love of our families and friends. We value the opportunity to provide for our children's future with the fruits of our honest labor. And, like the Pilgrims who celebrated Thanksgiving more than 300 years ago, we thank God for bringing us safely to the threshold of a new world, full of exhilarating challenge and promise.
In this new world, our children are growing up free from the shadows of the Cold War and the threat of nuclear holocaust. Nations once held captive by communism are learning the lessons of liberty and democracy. A revolution in technology has brought the world closer together and holds the prospect of greater knowledge and prosperity for people across the globe.
More than three centuries of change and growth separate us from the Pilgrims and their Native American friends who sat down together for their Thanksgiving meal. But the example and experience of those early Americans still hold great meaning for us today. They remind us that God's love strengthens and sustains us, both as individuals and as a Nation. They remind us that everyone has something to contribute, and that we are all richer when we learn to share. They teach us a simple but powerful lesson that each new generation of Americans must learn and pass on: we need one another. Like the Pilgrims, if we are to flourish in our new world, we must do so not as isolated individuals, but as members of a family, one America, sharing our gifts and leaving no one behind.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 27, 1997, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage all Americans to assemble in their homes, places of worship, or community centers to share the spirit of goodwill and prayer; to express heartfelt thanks to God for the many blessings He has bestowed upon us; and to reach out in true friendship to our brothers and sisters across this land who, together, comprise our great American family.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-second.
Turkey Pardoning Ceremony