Biden wishes Americans a Happy Thanksgiving, closer than ever

NANTUCKET, Massachusetts (AP) – President Joe Biden on Thursday wished Americans a more-than-normal Happy Thanksgiving, the second Thanksgiving to be celebrated under coronavirus pandemicIn comments that welcomed the resumption of holiday traditions by millions of American families – his own included.

The president said in a message Video greeting It was taped with First Lady Jill Biden at the White House before their trip to Nantucket, Massachusetts, for the holiday.

On the island, Biden visited the Coast Guard station at Brant Point to meet with staff there and virtually with US service members from around the world. “I am not kidding when I say I am grateful to these guys,” the president said when asked what he was grateful for, noting that Coast Guard personnel were standing right in front of him on the ground as he departed.

Reporters were pushed out of the auditorium due to Biden’s hypothetical remarks, apparently due to space constraints in the building. Well-wishers waved and cheered as Biden’s motorcade sailed the island’s narrow cobbled streets to and from the Coast Guard compound.

Biden, whose late son Beau was a major in the Delaware Army National Guard, said he has seen US service members in action all over the world, from the South China Sea, Iraq and Afghanistan to South America. “They don’t see us here,” he said when foreigners wonder what America is, that is, civilians. “They see them,” he said of members of the Coast Guard and other branches of the US military. “It makes me proud.”

From Nantucket, Biden also summoned Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a short joke on air with NBC anchor Al Roker. After it closed a year ago, spectators once again lined the road in Manhattan as about 8,000 participants joined the parade. Parade staff and volunteers had to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and wearing masks.

The extended first family has become traditional for their Thanksgiving menu: roast turkey and stuffing using Grandma’s recipe and other fixings. The dessert was three pies, and it was no surprise to those who followed Biden in and out of the ice cream parlors on the campaign trail—chocolate chip ice cream.

Biden and his wife had been spending Thanksgiving in Nantucket since before their wedding in 1977 because they were looking for a way out of choosing which family to spend with her. They didn’t visit in 2015 after Poe died earlier that year from brain cancer at age 46, or in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic put the kibosh at large family gatherings.

Instead, Biden dined at his home in Delaware last year with only his wife, daughter Ashley and her husband.

But this year, the president joined millions of Americans celebrating the holiday with large groups of loved ones. The whole Biden family He flew with him on Tuesday night on Air Force One to resume the Thanksgiving tradition: his wife; Hunter’s son and wife Melissa and their young son Beau; Ashley’s daughter and grandchildren are Naomi, Finnegan, Macy, Natalie and Little Fisherman, as well as Naomi’s fiancé Peter Neal.

The president credited the launch of COVID-19 vaccines with helping facilitate the return of family gatherings this holiday season, despite the resurgence of the virus due to a surge in new infections in the United States. dose, booster.

Naomi Biden and her fiancé cycled along a local road before her grandfather’s four-wheel drive car left the secluded home where the family resides. The sprawling complex is owned by David Rubenstein, the billionaire co-founder of private equity firm Carlyle Group.

Biden’s visit, his first as president, is markedly different from his previous vacation here when he was a US senator and later vice president. Then he may have been seen wandering downtown.

Biden lost much of his freedom of movement alone when he became president and now travels with a large group of security personnel, the White House, other officials and journalists. All of his public movements are closely monitored by the US Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies.

Jill Biden was heard telling members of the Coast Guard she would see them again Friday night at the annual Nantucket Christmas tree lighting, another Biden tradition.

“We all go together,” she said of her family. The tree-lighting ceremony is where Beau Biden proposed to his wife Haley in 2001. They married on the island the following year.

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

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

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