Presidential Proclamations remind us of things that are important to us as a nation. They celebrate events and people. . . . Proclamations also remind us of things we should be mindful of. . . . National monuments are established by presidential proclamation and trade agreements are implemented by presidential proclamation. Public policy may be set through presidential proclamation.
Every President since George Washington has proclaimed Thanksgiving as a national holiday. (And although the history is uncertain, the traditional Presidential pardoning of a turkey may go back to Abraham Lincoln.) Today, President Obama proclaimed that tomorrow, November 24, is a National Day of Thanksgiving.
On this holiday, we count our blessings and renew our commitment to giving back. We give thanks for our troops and our veterans — and their families — who give of themselves to protect the values we cherish; for the first responders, teachers, and engaged Americans who serve their communities; and for the chance to live in a country founded on the belief that all of us are created equal. . . . For generations, our Nation’s progress has been carried forward by those who act on the obligations we have to one another. Each year on Thanksgiving, the selflessness and decency of the American people surface in food banks and shelters across our country, in time spent caring for the sick and the stranger, and in efforts to empathize with those with whom we disagree and to recognize that every individual is worthy of compassion and care. As we gather in the company of our friends, families, and communities . . . let us strive to lift up others, promote tolerance and inclusiveness, and give thanks for the joy and love that surround all of us.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 24, 2016, as a National Day of Thanksgiving.
For more information about Thanksgiving proclamations, Presidential proclamations in general, and researching Presidential Proclamations see our 2013 blog post Proclamations of Thanksgiving.