Biden wishes Americans a closer-to-normal Happy Thanksgiving – NBC Bay Area

President Joe Biden on Thursday wished Americans a Happy Thanksgiving and closer to normal, the second celebrated in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, in remarks welcoming the resumption of holiday traditions by millions of American families, including his own.

“As we give thanks for what we have, we also hold in our hearts those who have been lost and those who have lost so much,” the president said in a statement. greeting recorded on video recorded with First Lady Jill Biden at the White House before their trip to Nantucket, Massachusetts, for the holidays.

On the island, the Bidens visited the Coast Guard station at Brant Point to meet with US personnel and virtually military personnel from around the world. “I’m not kidding when I say I’m grateful for these guys,” the President said when asked what he was grateful for, referring to the Coast Guard members standing straight in front of him on the ground then that he was leaving.

Reporters were kept out of the room for Biden’s virtual remarks, apparently due to limited space in the building. Supporters greeted and applauded as Biden’s motorcade walked the narrow cobblestone streets of the island to and from the Coast Guard complex.

Biden, whose late son Beau was a major in the Delaware Army National Guard, said he has watched U.S. servicemen in action around the world, from the South China Sea to Iraq and the Afghanistan to South America. He said that when foreigners wonder what America is, “they don’t see us here” – 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, the Biden’s also called for Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, joking briefly on air with NBC broadcaster Al Roker. Stranded a year ago, spectators lined up again on the course in Manhattan as some 8,000 participants joined the parade. Parade employees and volunteers were to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and wear masks.

The first extended family went traditional for their Thanksgiving menu: roast turkey, stuffing using a grandma’s recipe, and other toppings. Dessert consisted of three kinds of pies and, unsurprisingly to those who followed Biden in and out of ice cream parlors during the election campaign, chocolate chip ice cream.

Biden and his wife began spending Thanksgiving in Nantucket before their marriage in 1977, as they were looking for a way not to choose which family to spend it with. They did not visit in 2015 after Beau died earlier that year from brain cancer at the age of 46, or in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic ended. at large family gatherings.

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

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

The president credited the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines with helping ease the return of family reunions this holiday season, although a resurgent virus has fueled an increase in new infections in the United States The president and the first lady both had their full dose and booster vaccine.

Naomi Biden and her fiance rode their bikes on a local path just before her grandfather’s SUV left the secluded house where the family is staying. The sprawling complex is owned by David Rubenstein, billionaire philanthropist and co-founder of private equity firm Carlyle Group.

Biden’s visit, his first as president, is very different from his previous vacation here when he was a United States Senator and then Vice President. Then he could have been seen walking around the city center.

President Joe Biden pardoned the peanut butter and jelly during the 74th Annual White House Thanksgiving Turkey Pardon.

Biden lost much of his freedom to travel on his own when he became president and now travels with a large group of security personnel, the White House and other officials, as well as reporters. Each of his public actions is closely watched by the US secret service and other law enforcement agencies.

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

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

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

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

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