President Donald Trump celebrated the 400th anniversary of the pilgrims’ journey to America in 1620 in his annual Thanksgiving Proclamation.
“Propelled by hope for a brighter future, these intrepid men and women endured two long months at sea, tired and hungry, to arrive in a new world full of potential,” he wrote.
Trump recalled that the community celebrated the first Thanksgiving in America the following year despite unprecedented hardship in the New World.
“This seminal event in the history of our Nation is a continual reminder of the power of faith, love, perseverance, prayer, and fellowship,” he wrote.
The president recalled that the Mayflower Compact developed by the pilgrims was the beginning of democracy in America.
“Defined by majority rule through elected leaders responsible for creating ‘just and equal laws,’ the Mayflower Compact represents the first chapter in the long tradition of self-determination and rule of law in America,” he wrote, noting that 156 years later, the Founding Fathers enshrined that concept when forming the United States government.
He also recalled that the pilgrims lost nearly half of their community to exposure, disease, and starvation in the winter that followed, but they never lost their faith in God.
“Despite unimaginable hardships, these first Americans nevertheless remained firm in their faith and unwavering in their commitment to their dreams,” he wrote. “They forged friendships with the Wampanoag Tribe, fostered a spirit of common purpose among themselves, and trusted in God to provide for them.”
He cited the pilgrims’ struggle while acknowledging the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world in 2020.
“In the midst of suffering and loss, we are witnessing the remarkable courage and boundless generosity of the American people as they come to the aid of those in need, reflecting the spirit of those first settlers who worked together to meet the needs of their community,” he wrote.
He thanked first responders, medical professionals, essential workers who fought and sacrificed during the pandemic.
“Despite unprecedented challenges, we have not faltered in the face of adversity,” he wrote, noting that the country had rebuilt medical stockpiles and developed vaccines and therapeutics in record time.
The president also thanked members of the Armed Forces, law enforcement, and first responders for their sacrifices during the holiday season.
“This Thanksgiving, we reaffirm our everlasting gratitude for all that we enjoy, and we commemorate the legacy of generosity bestowed upon us by our forbearers,” he concluded. “Although challenges remain, we will never yield in our quest to live up to the promise of our heritage. As we gather with our loved ones, we resolve with abiding faith and patriotism to celebrate the joys of freedom and cherish the hope and peace of a brighter future ahead.”
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