This week, we gather with our loved ones to give thanks for the many blessings in our lives. Each family has its own traditions, yet we are united as a nation in setting aside a day of gratitude. We are thankful for our family and friends, who fill our lives with joy and love. We are thankful for the abundance of this prosperous land. We are thankful for the freedom that makes possible the enjoyment of all these gifts. And we acknowledge with humility that all these blessings and life itself come from Almighty God.
On Thanksgiving and throughout the year, we are grateful to the men and women of our Armed Forces for securing the peace in these dangerous times. Many members of our Armed Forces are observing this holiday in places far from home. They are serving with courage and skill in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere to defend our freedom and extend the blessings of freedom to others. In the past year, these brave Americans have continued to fight terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home. And they have helped the people of Iraq and Afghanistan hold historic and successful elections. They are America's finest, and we thank them today and every day for their service and sacrifice.
This week we also extend our gratitude to our military families, who are making great sacrifices to advance freedom's cause. Many of our servicemen and women have endured long deployments and separations from home. Many of those they leave behind must deal with the burden of raising families while praying for the safe return of their loved ones. All Americans honor and appreciate the commitment and sacrifice of our military families.
We think especially this week of those military families who are mourning the loss of loved ones. Every person who dies in the line of duty commands the eternal gratitude of the American people. The military families who mourn the fallen can know that America will not forget their sacrifice, and they can know that we will honor that sacrifice by completing the noble mission for which their loved ones gave their lives.
The Thanksgiving holiday reminds us that, "to whom much is given, from him much will be required." As we count our blessings, we are mindful of the need to share our blessings and gifts with others, and America is moved to compassionate action. This compassionate spirit was seen again this year, when Americans rallied to help their neighbors in need after the destruction caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. We pray for continued strength as we rebuild these communities and return hope to our fellow citizens.
The universal call to love a neighbor also extends beyond our shores, moving us to help people in other lands. Our nation has begun to help the millions of people in Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan who are suffering after last month's devastating earthquake in South Asia. I urge you to visit the website of the South Asia Earthquake Relief Fund at SouthAsiaEarthquakeRelief.org to find out how you can help. And to help others in need in your hometown, across America, and around the world, please visit the USA Freedom Corps website at USAFreedomCorps.gov.
This week of Thanksgiving, we ask that God continue to bless our families and our nation. Laura and I wish you all a happy and safe Thanksgiving weekend.
Thank you for listening.