The Cable

Obama to America: Don’t Let Terror Fears Ruin Your Thanksgiving

Following a meeting with his top national security advisers, President Barack Obama addressed the nation Wednesday with a decidedly non-alarmist message: Relax and enjoy Thanksgiving.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 24:  U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill January 24, 2012 in Washington, DC. The president made a populist pitch to voters for economic fairness, saying the federal government should more do to balance the benefits of a capitalist society.  (Photo by Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 24: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill January 24, 2012 in Washington, DC. The president made a populist pitch to voters for economic fairness, saying the federal government should more do to balance the benefits of a capitalist society. (Photo by Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)

Following a meeting with his top national security advisers, President Barack Obama addressed the nation Wednesday with a decidedly non-alarmist message: Relax and enjoy Thanksgiving.

In his statement from the White House’s Roosevelt Room, the president said the U.S. has no evidence that a Paris-style terrorist attack is being plotted against Americans and that as a result citizens should not hesitate to travel across country to celebrate the holiday with their loved ones.

Americans should go about their usual Thanksgiving weekend activities spending time with family and friends, and celebrating our blessings,” he said.

“While the threat of terrorism is a troubling reality of our age, we are both equipped to prevent attacks, and we are resilient in the face of those who would try to do us harm,” he added. “And that’s something we can all be thankful for.”

While noting that Americans should be “vigilant” of suspicious behavior or activity, he emphasized that national security officials are working around the clock to thwart emerging terror threats.

“Our military, our intelligence, and our homeland security agencies are on the case,” he said. “They’re vigilant, relentless and effective.”

The president’s message comes as media coverage of terrorist violence and looming threats has reached a saturation point following the deadly attacks in Paris that killed 129 people and the security lockdown in Belgium over a vague but “imminent” threat.

Fears over terrorism and the threat posed by Syrian refugees has also taken center stage in the GOP 2016 presidential race, with candidates bashing Obama over the lagging war against the Islamic State and vowing to end the president’s plan to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in the United States. Republicans in Congress have also promised to cut off funding for the program, which the State Department says vets incoming refugees more vigorously than any other travelers to the homeland.

In some ways, Obama’s remarks resemble the statements President George W. Bush made after 9/11 when he called on Americans to go shopping and continue their daily routines.

“Get down to Disney World in Florida,” Bush said. “Take your families and enjoy life, the way we want it to be enjoyed.”

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