Winston Churchill’s Thanksgiving speech

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Thursday, November 22nd. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. Good morning. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: Churchill celebrates Thanksgiving. 

It was November 23rd, 1944. 74 years ago tomorrow.

And the prime minister hosted a unique celebration at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Organizers held the event to raise money for sailors wounded during World War II.

REICHARD: But Churchill had something else in mind when he spoke. With the end of the war in sight, the British leader talked about how much the world owes the United States.

Let’s listen now to an excerpt from Winston Churchill.

WINSTON CHURCHILL: We have come here tonight to add our celebration to those which are going forward all over the world wherever allied troops are fighting, in billets and dugouts, on battlefields, on the high seas, and in the high, highest air. Always this annual festival has been dear to the hearts of the American people. Always there has been that desire for Thanksgiving and never, I think has there been more justification, more compulsive need than now.

It is your day of Thanksgiving and that when we feel the truth of the facts which are before us: that in three or four years, the peaceful, peace-loving people of the United States, with all the variety and freedom of their life, in such contrast to the iron discipline which has governed other, many other communities. When we see that in three or four years, the United States has in sober fact become the greatest military, naval, and air power in the world, that I say to you in this time of war, is in itself a subject for profound thanksgiving.

But there is a greater Thanksgiving Day, which still shines ahead, which beckons the bold, and the loyal, and the warm-hearted, and that is when this union of action, which has been forced upon us by wars against tyranny, which we have maintained during those dark and fearful days, shall become a lasting union of sympathy and feeling and loyalty and hope between all the British and American peoples wherever they may dwell.

Then indeed there will be a day of Thanksgiving, and one in which all the world will share.

(Photo/Royal Albert Hall)

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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