U.S. President, Barack Obama, on Thursday, met with his national security team and directed them to ensure safe Thanksgiving holiday season for all Americans.
A statement by the White House stated that Obama gave the directive at a meeting with his Counter-terrorism and Home Security Team.
He also thanked those standing watch on behalf of the country.
The White House statement quoted Obama as saying “this morning, the President convened members of his national security team to review our comprehensive domestic and international efforts to protect the American people during this holiday season.
“The President commended the continued cooperation between federal, state and local authorities to ensure public safety.
“He directed that all agencies maintain vigilance to ensure we are best postured to defend the homeland and prevent attacks by individualised or radicalised violence.”
The statement noted that Obama was also briefed on recent successful military operations against ISIL and al-Qa’ida that targeted key external operation plotters.
“He (Obama) instructed the Department of Defence and the Intelligence Community to maintain relentless pressure on terrorists seeking to harm Americans.
“Finally, the President expressed deep appreciation for U.S. personnel deployed around the world and the countless security personnel standing watch at the borders, ports, and facilities across the nation, while their fellow Americans come together for the holidays.”
The statement added that Obama wished the American people a happy Thanksgiving, saying “Thanksgiving reminds us that no matter our differences, we are still one people, part of something bigger than ourselves.
“This is because, what makes us Americans are the ideals to which we pledge our allegiance, and it’s about our ability to live up to the creed
“E Pluribus Unum” — that out of many, we are one.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Thanksgiving Day is a public holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November in the U.S., originating as a harvest festival.
It had been celebrated nationally on and off since 1789, after a proclamation by George Washington, as a federal holiday every year since 1863
when, during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed it a national day.
Lincoln proclaimed it a day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”, to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November.
Together with Christmas and the New Year, Thanksgiving is a part of the broader holiday season in the U.S. (NAN)