WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama celebrated a quiet Thanksgiving at the White House on Thursday and called several members of the armed forces to thank them for their service to the country.
Many presidents have preferred to spend the holiday at Camp David, the secluded Maryland mountaintop retreat, but the Obamas have more often chosen to have dinner at the Executive Mansion.
Hewing to past practice during his administration, Obama placed calls to several uniformed personnel. The White House said he talked to 10 service members — two each from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.
The White House said the president wished them and their families “a happy Thanksgiving.”
The guest list for the dinner wasn’t made public, so it wasn’t clear who would be joining the president, first lady Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia for the event.
In a holiday edition of his weekend radio and Internet address, Obama gave thanks for the country’s founders, the generations who followed, and members of the military, and their families, for the sacrifices they make.
He said Americans are greater together than they are alone and said togetherness is what every day, including Thanksgiving, should be about.
In the Republican address, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham paid tribute to service members spending the holiday away from home, and their families.