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On behalf of President Trump and the First Lady, my family and I wish the American community in the UK a very happy Thanksgiving. This uniquely American holiday has always been a time for reflection; to think of those we love, count our blessings, and to care for those less fortunate. This Thanksgiving, I encourage Americans in London to attend the annual Thanksgiving service hosted by St. Paul’s Cathedral on November 28 at 11:00 a.m. You may also want to volunteer at a soup kitchen, like the one sponsored by the American International Church. Or perhaps you just want to toss a football around the park with friends before enjoying a great meal.
However you celebrate, we will all be reflecting on the values that shaped our country; the courage and tenacity of the Pilgrims, the generosity of the Wampanoag who helped them survive that first brutal winter, and the gratitude that inspired the first Thanksgiving feast. We are thankful for the love of family and friends and for those who serve in harm’s way to protect the freedoms we cherish.
Some of you may not know, however, that Thanksgiving was not a national holiday until 1863. President Lincoln, seeking to heal a country bitterly divided by civil war, invited his “…fellow citizens in every part of the United States and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands”, to share in this holiday that celebrates America’s unique history and shared traditions.
It is in that spirit that I wish you, one of the largest American expatriate communities in the world, a very happy Thanksgiving from myself and all my colleagues at the U.S. Embassy. For those of you surrounded by family and friends this year, I know you are thankful. And for those of you who are far from loved ones, never forget that you are a part of a warm and welcoming American community here in the United Kingdom.
Ambassador Robert Wood Johnson IV
Ambassador of the United States to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland