By Victoria Gisondi
As some state governors restrict the number of family members that can gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, President Donald Trump has acknowledged in his annual National Family Week proclamation that families are the “basic building block of our society,” that “policies must empower and enable them to flourish,” and that America is only “as strong as our families.”
“In this season of Thanksgiving, we thank God for the wonderful families across our great Nation who are working to build brighter, better, and more prosperous futures. This week, we acknowledge that we are only as strong as our families and vow to prioritize their well-being and to uphold their fundamental role in our society,” Trump said in his Nov. 20 proclamation.
“My Administration stands firm in supporting the success of our families by ensuring that every child — born and unborn — can thrive in a loving home with caregivers who are bolstered by access to childcare, paid family leave, school choice, and job training,” he said.
The president addressed in his proclamation the many hardships for families in light of the pandemic, which has brought financial, mental health, emotional, and health troubles, and even death. He reminded the nation of the many ways his administration has sought to offset deprivations for families in 2020, including signing the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide over $2 trillion in economic relief to quickly help families, small businesses, and communities, and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which provided timely and critical support for families by expanding paid family, medical, and sick leave.”
Trump reminded the country that he has “increased unemployment benefits, enhanced flexibility within unemployment insurance programs, suspended student loan payments, and removed the threat of foreclosures and evictions for families with Government guaranteed mortgages.”
The president acknowledged how some governor’s mandates imposed on citizens has caused a “struggle” as they “adjust to new and burdensome daily routines.”
“In times like this, mental health becomes even more important,” Trump said, adding that it was because of this concern that he “signed an Executive Order to provide grant funding for easier access to mental health services, including telehealth, peer-to-peer, and safe in-person therapeutic treatments.”
The president wrapped up his proclamation on a positive note: “America will fully recover not only emotionally and physically, but also fiscally, from the devastation of the pandemic — and our families will be the bedrock of our Nation’s renewed success.”
National Family Week falls this year between November 22-28. Every year, the week of Thanksgiving is National Family Week in America. The holiday was adopted in the U.S.A. by Present Nixon in 1972.
The National Family Week Foundation states on their website, “This observance was the idea of Mr. Sam Wiley, a teacher, basketball coach and school administrator in Indiana who observed the stark difference in children who came from strong, supportive families and those who were not being raised in a traditional family unit. He conceived of the idea to set aside a time during Thanksgiving — when families traditionally gather to give thanks for their many blessings — to recognize the important role family plays in our society.”
In previous National Family Week proclamations, Trump has stated that the “strength of our Republic is not measured only by our military might and robust economy but also by the strength of our family bonds” (2019), that the family is “one of the greatest institutions” (2018), and that families are the “cornerstone of our society […] the fundamental unit of our society” (2017).