Biden wishes Americans happy, closer-to-normal Thanksgiving

NANTUCKET, Mass. – President Joe Biden on Thursday wished Americans a cheerful and closer-to-normal Thanksgiving, the second celebrated within the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, in remarks welcoming the resumption of vacation traditions by hundreds of thousands of U.S. households — together with his personal.

“As we give thanks for what we have, we also keep in our hearts those who have been lost and those who have lost so much,” the president stated in a videotaped greeting recorded with first girl Jill Biden on the White House earlier than their journey to Nantucket, Massachusetts, for the vacation.

On the island, the Bidens visited the Coast Guard station at Brant Point to fulfill with personnel there and just about with U.S. service members from around the globe. “I’m not joking when I say I’m thankful for these guys,” the president stated when requested what he was grateful for, referring to the Coast Guard members standing ramrod straight earlier than him on the grounds as he departed.


Reporters had been stored out of the room for Biden’s digital remarks, apparently due to tight house within the constructing. Well-wishers waved and cheered as Biden’s motorcade navigated the island’s slim paved and cobblestone streets to and from the Coast Guard compound.

Biden, whose late son Beau was a significant within the Delaware Army National Guard, stated he has watched U.S. service members in motion around the globe, from the South China Sea and Iraq and Afghanistan to South America. He stated when foreigners marvel what America is, “they don’t see us here,” which means civilians. “They see them,” he stated of members of the Coast Guard and the opposite branches of the U.S. navy. “It makes me proud.”

From Nantucket, the Bidens additionally referred to as in to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, briefly bantering on air with NBC broadcaster Al Roker. Shut out a yr in the past, spectators once more lined the route in Manhattan as some 8,000 individuals joined the parade. Parade workers and volunteers needed to be vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19 and put on masks.


The prolonged first household went conventional for his or her Thanksgiving menu: roasted turkey, stuffing utilizing a grandmother’s recipe and different fixings. Dessert was three sorts of pie, and — in no shock to those that adopted Biden out and in of ice cream outlets on the marketing campaign path — chocolate chip ice cream.

Biden and his spouse began spending Thanksgiving in Nantucket since earlier than they had been married in 1977 as a result of they had been on the lookout for a approach out of selecting whose household to spend it with. They didn’t go to in 2015 following Beau’s demise earlier that yr from mind most cancers at age 46, or in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic put the kibosh on large household gatherings.

Biden as an alternative dined at residence in Delaware final yr with simply his spouse, daughter Ashley and her husband.

But this yr, the president joined the hundreds of thousands of Americans who’re celebrating the vacation with large teams of family members. Biden’s total household flew up with him Tuesday evening on Air Force One to renew the Thanksgiving custom: his spouse; son Hunter and his spouse, Melissa and their toddler son Beau; daughter Ashley; and grandchildren Naomi, Finnegan, Maisy, Natalie and younger Hunter, in addition to Naomi’s fiance, Peter Neal.


The president has credited the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines with serving to ease the return of household gatherings this vacation season, though a resurgent virus has fueled a rise in new infections within the U.S. The president and first girl each have had their full vaccine dose, and a booster.

Naomi Biden and her fiance rode bicycles alongside on a neighborhood path simply earlier than her grandfather’s SUV departed the secluded residence the place the household is staying. The sprawling compound is owned by David Rubenstein, a billionaire philanthropist and co-founder of the Carlyle Group non-public fairness agency.

Biden’s go to, his first as president, is markedly totally different from his earlier holidays right here when he was a U.S. senator and later vp. Then, he might need been seen strolling round downtown.

Biden misplaced a lot of his freedom to maneuver round on his personal when he turned president and now travels with a big group of safety personnel, White House and different officers, and journalists. His each public transfer is intently watched by the U.S. Secret Service and different legislation enforcement.


Jill Biden was heard telling the Coast Guard members she would see them once more Friday evening at Nantucket’s annual Christmas tree lighting, one other Biden custom.

“We’re all going together,” she stated of her household. The tree lighting ceremony is the place Beau Biden proposed to his spouse, Hallie, in 2001. They had been wed on the island the next yr.

Biden is anticipated to return to the White House on Sunday.


Associated Press author Calvin Woodward in Washington contributed to this report.

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