Ronald Reagan’s Thanksgiving Day Messages |

November 20, 2018

Ronald Reagan's Thanksgiving Day Messages

Thanksgiving is a time for expressing gratitude for family, friends, and good fortune. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the founding of our nation, the principles and ideals it stands for and the ongoing need for citizens to give back to community and country to uphold that vision. Often, however, the true meaning of the day can get lost in the chaos and commercialization of the holiday season, prompting a need to redirect Americans’ attention back to the cause of all the celebrations.

That’s what President Ronald Reagan did in a series of proclamations on Thanksgiving Day during each year of his presidency, urging Americans to remember the spirit of the holiday throughout the year. He used the opportunity to comment on issues affecting the country and to mobilize citizens to join forces to affect positive change. These Ronald Reagan Thanksgiving quotes may have a particular relevance to the time period in which they were delivered, but can also be applied in a modern context, as our country continues to struggle to embrace the meaning of Thanksgiving, both on the holiday and year-round.

Here is a sampling of some of the most iconic Ronald Reagan Thanksgiving quotes:

“Americans have always understood that, truly, one must give in order to receive. This should be a day of giving as well as a day of thanks.”


“Although we are a pluralistic society, the giving of thanks can be a true bond of unity among our people. We can unite in gratitude for our individual freedoms and individual faiths. We can be united in gratitude for our nation’s peace and prosperity when so many in this world have neither.”


“Today let us take heart from the noble example of our first president. And let us ever be mindful of the faith and spiritual values that have made our nation great and that alone can keep us great.”


“In this year, when we as a people enjoy the fruits of economic growth and international cooperation, let us take time both to remember the sacrifices that have made this harvest possible and the needs of those who do not fully partake of its benefits.”


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