Hi, everybody. Sunday is Father’s Day. If you haven’t got Dad a gift yet, there’s still time. Just barely. But the truth is, what we give our fathers can never match what our fathers give us.
I know how important it is to have a dad in your life, because I grew up without my father around. I felt the weight of his absence. So for Michelle and our girls, I try every day to be the husband and father my family didn’t have when I was young. And every chance I get, I encourage fathers to get more involved in their children’s lives, because what makes you a man isn’t the ability to have a child – it’s the courage to raise one.
Still, over the past couple years, I’ve met with a lot of young people who don’t have a father figure around. And while there’s nothing that can replace a parent, any of us can do our part to be a mentor, a sounding board, a role model for a kid who needs one. Earlier this year, I launched an initiative called My Brother’s Keeper – an all-hands-on-deck effort to help more of our young men reach their full potential. And if you want to be a mentor to a young man in your community, you can find out how at WhiteHouse.gov/MyBrothersKeeper.
Now, when I launched this initiative, I said that government can’t play the primary role in a young person’s life. Taking responsibility for being a great parent or mentor is a choice that we, as individuals, have to make. No government program can ever take the place of a parent’s love. Still, as a country, there are ways we can help support dads and moms who make that choice.
That’s why, earlier this week, we brought working dads from across America to the White House to talk about the challenges they face. And in a few weeks, I’ll hold the first-ever White House Working Families Summit. We’ve still got too many workplace policies that belong in the 1950s, and it’s time to bring them up to date for today’s families, where oftentimes, both parents are working. Moms and dads deserve affordable child care, and time off to care for a sick parent or child without running into hardship. Women deserve equal pay for equal work – and at a time when more women are breadwinners for a family, that benefits men, too. And because no parent who works full-time should have to raise a family in poverty, it’s time for Congress to follow the lead of state after state, get on the bandwagon, and give America a raise.
Dads work hard. So our country should do what we can to make sure their hard work pays off; to make sure life for them and their families is a little less stressful, and a little more secure, so they can be the dads their kids need them to be. Because there’s nothing more precious in life than the time we spend with our children. There’s no better feeling than knowing that we can be there for them, and provide for them, and help give them every shot at success.
Let’s make sure every dad who works hard and takes responsibility has the chance to know that feeling, not just on one Sunday, but every day of the year.
Thanks everybody, happy Father’s Day, and have a great weekend.
On behalf of the Obama family – Michelle, Malia, Sasha and Bo – I want to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving.
For us, like so many of you, this is a day full of family and friends; food and football. It’s a day to fight the overwhelming urge to take a nap – at least until after dinner. But most of all, it’s a time to give thanks for each other, and for the incredible bounty we enjoy.
That’s especially important this year. As a nation, we’ve just emerged from a campaign season that was passionate, noisy, and vital to our democracy. But it also required us to make choices – and sometimes those choices led us to focus on what sets us apart instead of what ties us together; on what candidate we support instead of what country we belong to.
Thanksgiving is a chance to put it all in perspective – to remember that, despite our differences, we are, and always will be, Americans first and foremost.
Today we give thanks for blessings that are all too rare in this world. The ability to spend time with the ones we love; to say what we want; to worship as we please; to know that there are brave men and women defending our freedom around the globe; and to look our children in the eye and tell them that, here in America, no dream is too big if they’re willing to work for it.
We’re also grateful that this country has always been home to Americans who see these blessings not simply as gifts to enjoy, but as opportunities to give back. Americans who believe we have a responsibility to look out for those less fortunate – to pull each other up and move forward together.
Right now, as we prepare to gather around our dinner tables, there are families in the northeast who don’t have that luxury. Many of them have lost everything to Hurricane Sandy – homes, possessions, even loved ones. And it will be a long time before life goes back to normal.
But in the midst of so much tragedy, there are also glimmers of hope. Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen FEMA personnel, National Guard and first responders working around the clock in hard-hit communities. We’ve seen hospital workers using their lunch breaks to distribute supplies. Families offering up extra bedrooms. The fire department advertising free hot showers. Buses full of volunteers coming from hundreds of miles away. Neighbors sharing whatever they have – food, water, electricity – and saying again and again how lucky they are to have a roof over their heads.
It would have been easy for these folks to do nothing – to worry about themselves and leave the rest to someone else. But that’s not who we are. That’s not what we do.
As Americans, we are a bold, generous, big-hearted people. When our brothers and sisters are in need, we roll up our sleeves and get to work – not for the recognition or the reward, but because it’s the right thing to do. Because there but for the grace of God go I. And because here in America, we rise or fall together, as one nation and one people.
That’s something to be grateful for – today and every day.
So to all the Americans doing your part to make our world a better place– it is my privilege to serve as your President. To all our service members – it is my honor to be your Commander in Chief. And from our family to yours, happy Thanksgiving.
One of our Nation’s oldest and most cherished traditions, Thanksgiving Day brings us closer to our loved ones and invites us to reflect on the blessings that enrich our lives. The observance recalls the celebration of an autumn harvest centuries ago, when the Wampanoag tribe joined the Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony to share in the fruits of a bountiful season. The feast honored the Wampanoag for generously extending their knowledge of local game and agriculture to the Pilgrims, and today we renew our gratitude to all American Indians and Alaska Natives. We take this time to remember the ways that the First Americans have enriched our Nation’s heritage, from their generosity centuries ago to the everyday contributions they make to all facets of American life. As we come together with friends, family, and neighbors to celebrate, let us set aside our daily concerns and give thanks for the providence bestowed upon us.
感恩节(Thanksgiving Day)是美国最悠久、最宝贵的传统之一。这个节日带给我们更浓郁的亲情，令我们反思给予我们丰富多彩的生活的万般恩典。这个传统上溯至几百年前万帕诺亚格部落(Wampanoag tribe)和普利茅斯殖民地(Plymouth Colony)清教徒移民分享秋收果实的欢庆时节。当时的盛宴表达了对万帕诺亚格部落向新移民传授当地狩猎和农作知识的慷慨友情的赞赏;今天，我们继续向所有美洲印第安人和阿拉斯加原住民表示感恩。让我们值此时刻重温美国最早期的人们对我国文化传统的贡献——他们不仅在数百年前慷慨相助，而且每一天都在为 美国生活的各方各面作贡献。在我们与朋友、家人和邻居聚首欢庆的日子里，让我们抛开日常烦恼，为上帝对我们的眷顾而感恩。
Though our traditions have evolved, the spirit of grace and humility at the heart of Thanksgiving has persisted through every chapter of our story. When President George Washington proclaimed our country’s first Thanksgiving, he praised a generous and knowing God for shepherding our young Republic through its uncertain beginnings. Decades later, President Abraham Lincoln looked to the divine to protect those who had known the worst of civil war, and to restore the Nation “to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.”
虽然我们的传统与时俱进，但是作为感恩节核心的恩惠与谦卑精神贯穿于我们历史的各段篇章，始终如一。乔治·华盛顿 (George Washington)总统发表了美国第一个感恩日公告，感谢慷慨而全能的上帝护卫我们年轻的共和国度过风雨莫测的初始阶段。几十年后，亚伯拉罕·林肯(Abraham Lincoln)总统祈求神灵保佑深领内战不幸的人们，让国家重享完全的“和平、和谐、安宁与联邦团结”。
In times of adversity and times of plenty, we have lifted our hearts by giving humble thanks for the blessings we have received and for those who bring meaning to our lives. Today, let us offer gratitude to our men and women in uniform for their many sacrifices, and keep in our thoughts the families who save an empty seat at the table for a loved one stationed in harm’s way. And as members of our American family make do with less, let us rededicate ourselves to our friends and fellow citizens in need of a helping hand.
As we gather in our communities and in our homes, around the table or near the hearth, we give thanks to each other and to God for the many kindnesses and comforts that grace our lives. Let us pause to recount the simple gifts that sustain us, and resolve to pay them forward in the year to come.
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 Thursday, November 24, 2011, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage the people of the United States to come together — whether in our homes, places of worship, community centers, or any place of fellowship for friends and neighbors — to give thanks for all we have received in the past year, to express appreciation to those whose lives enrich our own, and to share our bounty with others.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.