Thanksgiving is a time of the year when we gather around the table with our friends and loved ones to reflect upon and give thanks for the many blessings in our life. From the continuing effects of the COVID pandemic, to various National Security threats, 2021 has been yet another challenging year. Despite that, I still have much for which to give thanks.
I give thanks to the national security community. To all the dedicated individuals, from economic security personnel to cyber-security staff - your tireless efforts are appreciated. Your work defending our assets while promoting democracy and peace throughout the world keeps us safe and protects our way of life. Thank you for your hard work, commitment, and perseverance in the continuous pursuit of safeguarding our national interests.
I give special thanks to our Military professionals. Our honorable men and women bravely put their lives on the line, oftentimes far away from their loved ones gathered around the Thanksgiving table, to protect our grateful nation. I will say this directly to you - thank you for your tireless work and constant vigilance. Your self-sacrifice, courage and patriotism are sincerely respected, deeply valued and profoundly vital. I know this work is not easy. I understand the physical demands, the psychological stress and emotional pressure you endure. Whether you are deployed abroad or are serving here at home, it is your service that enables us to enjoy Thanksgiving in peace. The American people are forever indebted to you.
I want to take a moment to remember some threats of which Americans are unaware. Just in the span of a week there were several major threats: an assassination attempt on the Iraqi Prime minister with two armed drones, 90,000 Russian soldiers just on the other side of Ukraine staged with equipment for possible invasion, a humanitarian crisis in Belarus, a suicide bomber attack in Uganda, an escalation of Syrian arms movement sponsored by Iran, space debris dangers from both Russia and China, and many cyber attacks. As Americans begin to get their lives back to “normal,” our National Security teams have to be ready to give our all and be the “sheep dogs” that protect the sheep from the wolves. I have faith in all of you to do what is necessary to play your part in the protection of the country. Many of you, both longtime associates and new, have contacted me to collaborate on some of these complex issues together and I am thankful for your vigilance and willingness to protect our country.
On a personal note, I would also like to give thanks to the people who touched my life this year. I give thanks to my friends, family, colleagues and associates who have helped me along the way. I appreciate every one of you for your support, guidance, and friendship. You all play a critical part in motivating and challenging me, helping me to better myself. For that, I am endlessly grateful.
May God richly bless you this year and bless our nation to continue its successful pursuit of the challenges that lie ahead. Wishing all of you a joyous, safe and peaceful holiday season. Thank you for all you do.