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President Obama's Weekly Address: Wishing Americans a Happy Thanksgiving

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- As Americans are preparing to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, President Obama take the opportunity in his weekly address to reflect on the blessings and freedoms we share.

Thanksgiving is a day "full of family and friends; food and football," the president says. " … But most of all, it's a time to give thanks for each other, and for the incredible bounty we enjoy."

President Obama recalls this year's "passionate, noisy" campaign season that often led Americans to "focus on what sets us apart instead of what ties us together" and to focus on "what candidate we support instead of what country we belong to." But now, he says, at Thanksgiving we ought to "put it all in perspective" and remember that "despite out differences, we are, and always will be, Americans first and foremost."

Though many Americans, including the first family, will celebrate the day among family and friends, President Obama encourages us to "give thanks for blessing that are all too rare in this world."

"The ability to spend time with the ones we love; to say what we want; to worship as we please; to know that there are brave men and women defending our freedom around the globe; and to look our children in the eye and tell them that, here in America, no dream is too big if they're willing to work for it," he says.

The president also expresses appreciation for those volunteers, first responders, health and FEMA personnel, and the National Guard for working in communities in the Northeast that were hit hard by superstorm Sandy.

"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," the president says in the address. "As Americans, we are a bold, generous, big-hearted people."

"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."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio