NANTUCKET, Mass. — President Joe Biden on Thursday wished People a cheerful and closer-to-normal Thanksgiving, the second celebrated within the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, in remarks welcoming the resumption of vacation traditions by hundreds of thousands of households — together with his personal.
“As we give thanks for what we now have, we additionally maintain in our hearts those that have been misplaced and those that have misplaced a lot,” the president stated in a videotaped greeting recorded with first girl Jill Biden on the White Home earlier than their journey to Nantucket, Massachusetts, for the vacation.
On the island, the Bidens visited the Coast Guard station at Brant Level to fulfill nearly with U.S. servicemembers from world wide and personnel on the station. “I am not joking after I say I am grateful for these guys,” the president stated when requested what he was grateful for, referring to the Coast Guard members standing ramrod straight earlier than him on the grounds as he departed.
Reporters have been saved out of the room for Biden’s digital remarks, apparently due to tight area within the constructing. Properly-wishers waved and cheered as Biden’s motorcade navigated the island’s slim paved and cobblestone streets to and from the Coast Guard compound.
Biden, whose late son Beau was a significant within the Delaware Military Nationwide Guard, stated he has watched U.S. service members in motion world wide, from the South China Sea and Iraq and Afghanistan to South America. He stated when foreigners surprise what America is, “they do not see us right here,” that means civilians. “They see them,” he stated of members of the Coast Guard and the opposite branches of the U.S. army. “It makes me proud.”
From Nantucket, the Bidens additionally referred to as in to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, briefly bantering on air with NBC broadcaster Al Roker. Shut out a 12 months in the past, spectators once more lined the route in Manhattan as some 8,000 individuals joined the parade. Parade workers and volunteers needed to be vaccinated towards COVID-19 and put on masks.
Biden and his spouse began spending Thanksgiving in Nantucket since earlier than they have been married in 1977 as a result of they have been searching for a manner out of selecting whose household to spend it with. They didn’t go to in 2015 following Beau’s demise earlier that 12 months from mind most cancers at age 46, or in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic put the kibosh on massive household gatherings.
Biden as a substitute dined at residence in Delaware final 12 months with simply his spouse, daughter Ashley and her husband.
However this 12 months, the president joined the hundreds of thousands of People who’re celebrating the vacation with massive teams of family members. Biden’s whole household flew up with him Tuesday evening on Air Pressure One to renew the Thanksgiving custom: his spouse; son Hunter and his spouse, Melissa and their toddler son Beau; daughter Ashley; and grandchildren Naomi, Finnegan, Maisy, Natalie and younger Hunter, in addition to Naomi’s fiance, Peter Neal.
Naomi Biden and her fiance rode bicycles alongside on a neighborhood path simply earlier than her grandfather’s SUV departed the secluded residence the place the household is staying. The house belongs to David Rubenstein, a billionaire philanthropist and co-founder of the Carlyle Group personal fairness agency.
Biden’s go to, his first as president, is markedly totally different from his earlier holidays right here when he was a U.S. senator and later vice chairman. Then, he might need been seen strolling round downtown.
Biden misplaced a lot of his freedom to maneuver round on his personal when he grew to become president and now travels with a big group of safety personnel, White Home and different officers, and journalists. His each public transfer is carefully watched by the U.S. Secret Service and different legislation enforcement.
Jill Biden was heard telling the Coast Guard members she would see them once more Friday evening at Nantucket’s annual Christmas tree lighting, one other Biden custom.
“We’re all going collectively,” she stated of her household. The tree lighting ceremony is the place Beau Biden proposed to his spouse, Hallie, in 2001. They have been wed on the island the next 12 months.
Biden is predicted to return to the White Home on Sunday.
Related Press author Calvin Woodward in Washington contributed to this report.