Bidens Welcomes Troops to U.S. Coast Guard Station Brant Point and Virtually Around the World

After about an hour inside the Coast Guard station, the Bidens came out to greet about 20 uniformed military personnel, with the President wishing them a Happy Thanksgiving, handing out challenge coins and posing for a group photo.

“I’m not kidding when I say I’m grateful for these guys, grateful for them, and I mean it from the bottom of my heart,” Biden said.

“I have traveled the world. I have observed these people. I have observed them in the South China Sea. I have observed them in Afghanistan and Iraq, I have observed them in South America. Wherever they are. , people wonder what America is, they look and they see them … And that makes me proud. “

The Bidens participated in a video call with US troops deployed overseas during their visit.

The Bidens, said a White House aide upon their arrival, “would meet virtually with military personnel from around the world to thank them for their service and wish them a Happy Thanksgiving. The servicemen meeting with the President and the First Lady represent the six branches of the military (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force and Coast Guard). “

The Biden family, including the president’s children and grandchildren and other important people, vacation on Nantucket Island, just off the coast of Massachusetts, a family Thanksgiving tradition for 46 years. They are staying in the waterfront home of billionaire and philanthropist David Rubenstein.

On the menu: roast turkey with thyme; Grandmother Jacobs’ savory stuffing; classic turkey sauce; roasted autumn vegetables; sweet potatoes, kale and button mushrooms; Fresh cranberry and apple jam; apple pie, pumpkin pie and coconut cream pie; and chocolate chip ice cream.

Over the years, the family have been spotted at local holiday events, including participating in Turkey Trots, the town’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony, and the Cold Turkey Plunge.

On Friday, the first lady said, they will visit the city’s annual Christmas tree lighting on Main Street.

“We are all going together,” she said. “We’ll see you at the tree light tomorrow. “

Earlier Thursday, the Bidens released a prerecorded Thanksgiving message to the American people expressing their gratitude for this year.

“This year, Thanksgiving blessings are especially important,” said the president.

The first lady added: “After being separated last year, we have a new appreciation for those little moments that we can’t plan or replicate.”

Biden also expressed his gratitude to the troops and commemorated the loss during the pandemic.

“As we come together again, our table and our hearts are full of grace and gratitude for all we love. And as Commander-in-Chief, I am especially grateful to our service members and their families, for their sacrifices. to our nation, ”he said. , adding: “We also keep in our hearts those we have lost and those who have lost so much. And those who have an empty place at their kitchen table or at their dining room table this year because of this virus or of another cruel turn of fate or accident We pray for them.

The pair also attended Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on Thursday, telling NBC host Al Roker, “America is back. There is nothing we can’t get over.”

This story has been updated with additional details.

CNN’s Allie Malloy contributed to this report.

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