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Florida Voices: Thanksgiving

November 27, 2013 - 6:00pm

Comments from around the state on Thanksgiving:

Gov. Rick Scott and first lady Ann Scott:

Thanksgiving is a time for families across the nation to join their loved ones in giving thanks for the years blessings. As you gather with your family to celebrate this joyous holiday, I encourage you to also give thanks to the brave men and women who have served and who are currently serving our country at home and abroad.Their service and sacrifice protects our freedom and we will keep them and their families in our thoughts and prayers as we celebrate this holiday season. Ann and I wish you all a safe and happy Thanksgiving weekend.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.:

"This week my wife Grace and I will be in Jacksonville spending Thanksgiving with our two grown children, Graces family, and our matriarch Graces 93-year-old mother.

Like many of you, as we sit down to a traditional turkey dinner Ill be thinking about what Im most thankful for. At the top of the list will be my family sitting beside me, and our wonderful extended family and friends.

Im also thankful for the privilege of serving you and the Sunshine State as your senator.

Grace and I hope that each of you will be able to share this Thanksgiving with your loved ones, too, and that you may find many, many reasons to be grateful this holiday season.

As we reflect on the past year and look toward the year ahead, lets also keep our military men and women in our thoughts and prayers. Many of them are still scattered across the world and will be missing their families and friends.

God bless them and you, and thank you all for what you do to make our state and country a better place."

Attorney General Pam Bondi:

As we gather with family and friends for Thanksgiving, let us be grateful for the many blessings we have received. Also, let us remember our military members who are sacrificing this holiday by serving our great country away from their loved ones. I wish you all a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.:

"Every year on the fourth Thursday in November, most Americans set aside their demanding jobs and busy schedules to celebrate their many blessings. Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday on which we show our gratitude for family, friends and this great nation.

It was in the midst of a brutal civil war when President Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday. But more than two centuries before that, the very first Thanksgiving was a momentous gathering that marked a lasting hope for the promise of a better life in the New World. Today, America continues to be a beacon of freedom and opportunity.

We are thankful for this great nation, where our brave troops selflessly defend the God-given rights that have guided this country to prosperity. We are thankful for this great nation, where opportunity rings even more loudly today than it did centuries ago. And we are thankful for this great nation, where each generation is born into the promise of a better life, a promise as unique to America as this holiday -- the promise of the American dream.

As we gather around the table this year, let us fill not just our plates but also our hearts, with laughter, love and the peaceful, reassuring notion of what it means to be truly thankful.

From my family to yours, we wish you a happy and blessed Thanksgiving."

President Barack Obama:

"Thanksgiving offers each of us the chance to count our many blessings -- the freedoms we enjoy, the time we spend with loved ones, the brave men and women who defend our nation at home and abroad.

"This tradition reminds us that no matter what our background or beliefs, no matter who we are or who we love, at our core we are first and foremost Americans.

"Our annual celebration has roots in centuries-old colonial customs. When we gather around the table, we follow the example of the Pilgrims and Wampanoags, who shared the fruits of a successful harvest nearly 400 years ago.

"When we offer our thanks, we mirror those who set aside a day of prayer. And when we join with friends and neighbors to alleviate suffering and make our communities whole, we honor the spirit of President Abraham Lincoln, who called on his fellow citizens to 'fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.'

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