As Americans celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday with parades and sumptuous feasts on Thursday (November 22), U.S. President
Barack Obama wished the nation a happy holiday and called on the Americans to come together in the wake of a divisive election campaign.
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(ROUGH CUT ONLY - NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: As Americans celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday with parades and sumptuous feasts on Thursday (November 22), U.S. President Barack Obama wished the nation a happy holiday and called on the Americans to come together in the wake of a divisive election campaign. "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," he said in his weekly radio and internet address. Obama paid tribute to those who helped out and provided emergency assistance after super storm Sandy caused widespread damage along the East Coast. "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," he said. Finally, Obama thanked the men and women serving in the armed forces. "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."