In 1620, 102 people boarded <i>The Mayflower</i> and sailed away from England in search of a better life. They arrived at Plymouth and established a settlement, but the Pilgrims' experience that first year was hard. Less than half made it through the winter alive. It was only through the spirit of cooperation and self-sacrifice - and with the assistance of Native Americans - that any of the settlers survived at all. The Pilgrims overcame adversity, and marked this day with thanks for the blessings of freedom and prosperity they had been given.

Maintaining America's blessings is not without cost. Our Army is the protector of our freedoms. Since the American Revolution, nearly one million Soldiers have made the ultimate sacrifice for our Nation. Today, our Soldiers, Families and Civilians continue to serve courageously throughout the world to secure peace and advance the principles of freedom and democracy.

On this Thanksgiving Day, let us pause and give thanks for every one of the Army's one million men and women, and their Families, who selflessly serve our Nation. Let us honor the Families of our Fallen, and lift them up in our prayers. May our gratitude for the blessings of freedom, prosperity and Family continue throughout the year.

Pete Geren
Secretary of the Army

George W. Casey
General, United States Army
Chief of Staff

Kenneth O. Preston
Sergeant Major of the Army

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16