President Obama on Thanksgiving offered thanks to those serving in the military and Americans who were helping those hit by economic troubles.

“As Americans, we have so much to be thankful for,” said Obama in his weekly address. “We give thanks for all our men and women in uniform - and for their families, who are surely missing them very much today. We're grateful for their sacrifice too.”

The president also thanked those he said were “doing their part to make the United States a better, more compassionate nation, who spend their Thanksgiving volunteering at a soup kitchen, or joining a service project, or bringing food and cheer to a lonely neighbor.”

And he encouraged the public to continue to help those less fortunate. “That big-hearted generosity is a central part of our American character,” Obama said. “We believe in lending a hand to folks who need it. We believe in pitching in to solve problems even if they aren’t our problems.

“And we remember that many Americans need that helping hand right now,” he continued. “Americans who’ve lost their jobs and can’t get a new one through no fault of their own. Americans who’ve been trapped in poverty and just need that helping hand to climb out. Citizens whose prayers and hopes move us to act.”

On Wednesday, the president pardoned a turkey at the White House and in the afternoon was joined by his family to volunteer at a local area food bank.