On Thursday, the Bidens traveled to Coast Guard Station Brant Point in Nantucket, Massachusetts, to visit service members stationed there. The Biden family is staying at the Nantucket home of billionaire David Rubenstein, a Carlyle Group co-founder, to celebrate the holiday.
The president and first lady spoke individually to each of the service members and posed for a photo before departing.
According to a White House aide, the president and first lady also met virtually with troops around the world “to thank them for their service and wish them a happy Thanksgiving.” The service members meeting the Bidens included representation from the six branches of the military – Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force and Coast Guard.
Reporters present at the event shouted multiple questions at the president upon his departure, but Biden only answered a question about what he is thankful for this holiday.
“What am I thankful for?” the president responded. “I’m thankful for these guys. I mean it, from the bottom of my heart.”
“Wherever they are, people wonder what America is and they see them,” Biden continued. “They don’t see what’s here, they see them.”
“You know, as we gather together again, our table and our hearts are full of grace and gratitude for all those we love,” the president said in a video message with Jill Biden on Thursday. “And as commander-in-chief, I’m especially grateful to our service members and their families for their sacrifices to our nation.”
In his proclamation, Biden also gave thanks to “the farm workers and frontline workers, many of whom are immigrants,” for their work keeping “grocery stores stocked” as well as keeping “our cities and towns clean and safe.”
Additionally, Biden thanked health care workers “working to vaccinate our Nation,” the scientists who developed the vaccines and military service members.