IN 1621, Massachusetts Bay Governor William Bradford invited members of the neighboring Wampa-noag tribe to join the Pilgrims as they celebrated their first harvest in a new land. This 3-day festival brought people together to delight in the richness of the earth and to give praise for their new friendships and progress. More than 300 years later, the tradition inspired by that gathering continues on Thanksgiving Day across America - a holiday that unites citizens from every culture, race, and background in common thanks for the gifts we receive from God.
As we pause to reflect on the events of the past year, we recognize anew our Nation's many and wonderful blessings. We are deeply grateful for the abundance that keeps America strong and prosperous; for our freedoms and the freedom spreading to people all over the world; for the new hope of peace in regions where people have suffered much but are working hard toward reconciliation; for the 50 years of international cooperation that have followed the end of World War II; and especially for the generosity and love that united our Nation after the tragedy in Oklahoma City.
Let us open our hearts to the grace that makes all good things possible and acknowledge God's care for our world. Let us each take time to offer thanks for the bounty of our own lives and for the relatives and friends that gather with us to share food and companionship on this special day. We give praise for the relationships that sustain us - in our families, churches, schools, and communities. We voice our appreciation for the satisfaction of work and the joys of leisure, and, most of all, we give thanks for the children that enrich our lives and remind us daily that we are the stewards of the earth and all its possibilities.
This cherished season also calls us to look forward to the challenges that lie before us as individuals and as a country. With God's help, we can shoulder our responsibilities so that future generations will inherit the wealth of opportunities we now enjoy. In everything we do, we must plan for the Thanksgivings to come and continue our efforts to build an America where everyone has a place at the table and a fair share in our Nation's harvest.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 23, 1995, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage all the people of the United States to assemble in their homes, places of worship, or community centers to share the spirit of goodwill and prayer; to express heartfelt gratitude for the blessings of life; and to reach out in friendship to our brothers and sisters in the larger family of mankind.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twentieth.