Karen Matthews

NEW YORK: Americans paused Thursday to celebrate their blessings despite terrorism fears and racial tensions over fatal police shootings across the country. A record number of police officers patrolled the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, while St. Louis resumed its annual parade, canceled last year amid protests over Michael Brown’s death.

At the White House, President Barack Obama spent a quiet holiday with a traditional meal. Here’s a look at how Americans celebrated:

Spectators at the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York noted a stepped-up police presence, with officers perched on buildings like Radio City Music Hall and watching from helicopters hovering overhead.

“It’s a little scary, but at least it’s keeping us safe,” Kim Miller, of Boston, said of the heavy security. “We’re having fun.”

City officials have said there are no known, credible threats against New York following the deadly attacks in Paris and a video purportedly produced by the Islamic State group that contained footage of Times Square. But Police Commissioner William Bratton said more than 2,500 officers would nevertheless be stationed along the parade route for the Thanksgiving festivities — the largest number of officers the department has ever assigned to the event.

In St. Louis, a modest-sized crowd gathered on an unseasonably warm morning for the annual Thanksgiving Day parade that was canceled last year amid protests and widespread arrests over the death of Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, and other police shootings.

In Washington, Obama said Thanksgiving is a day for food, football and hoping “the turkey didn’t turn out too dry.”

Even if the White House’s thyme-roasted bird didn’t turn out to be the moistest, the first family’s menu boasted such choices as honey-baked ham, prime rib and two kinds of stuffing: cornbread with chorizo and “roasted peppers oyster.”