“I know that for many of you, this Thanksgiving is more difficult than most. But no matter how tough things are right now, we still give thanks for that most American of blessings, the chance to determine our own destiny,” Mr Obama said.
The president said that while the partisanship in Washington may lead some to question whether unity is possible, the nation’s problems could be solved.
“The problems we face didn’t develop overnight, and we won’t solve them overnight,” he said. “But we will solve them. All it takes is for each of us to do our part.
“This sense of mutual responsibility – the idea that I am my brother’s keeper, that I am my sister’s keeper – has always been a part of what makes our country special,” he said.
Mr Obama said he was thankful to serve as president, and thankful that his daughters get to grow up in “this great country of ours”.