(Photo: AP Images / Markus Schreiber)
President Barack Obama issued on Tuesday the annual Thanksgiving Day proclamation, asking Americans to rejoice in the gifts of a gracious God.
"As we stand at the close of one year and look to the promise of the next, we lift up our hearts in gratitude to God for our many blessings, for one another, and for our Nation," he stated.
Last year, the president received some flak for what some considered a "godless" proclamation. His only mention of God was an indirect one, as he quoted President George Washington who proclaimed the first national day of Thanksgiving to be observed "by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God."
But this year, the media have taken notice of Obama's two mentions of God and continuing the tradition of previous presidential proclamations that attributed blessings to God.
In his 2010 proclamation, Obama called Thanksgiving Day a time to "join in a spirit of fellowship and gratitude for the year's bounties and blessings" and to lay aside troubles and disagreements and "bow our heads in humble recognition of the providence bestowed upon our nation."
He also called Americans to remember the hungry and to practice generosity by helping fellow citizens in need.
"As Americans gather for the time-honored Thanksgiving Day meal, let us rejoice in the abundance that graces our tables, in the simple gifts that mark our days, in the loved ones who enrich our lives, and in the gifts of a gracious God. Let us recall that our forebears met their challenges with hope and an unfailing spirit, and let us resolve to do the same."