This Thursday (November 25), Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday embraced by all Americans, even those born in other countries and those who serve their country overseas.
For many Americans, this is the image that marks Thanksgiving: roast turkey, and a family feast.
It's a day of parades, even in the snow, and in the bitter cold. And a day of American football games.
It's a day when U.S. Army cooks in Afghanistan and in Iraq do their best to make up for a Thanksgiving far away from home.
"I'm thankful for our freedom. I'm thankful for clothes and shoes."
At Terraset Elementary School in the eastern state of Virginia, the first and second graders wear paper Thanksgiving turkey hats as they eat a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
"OK. I'm thankful for my family."
"And I'm thankful for you, CJ."
Moms and dads, younger brothers and sisters join them for the feast.
Some of the students wear paper bonnets like those worn by the Pilgrims, who celebrated the first Thanksgiving. Pilgrims were the English colonists who, in 1621, were at peace with their Indian neighbors and grateful for a harvest that would get them through the winter.
Principal Ellen Cury makes sure her students understand the lessons of Thanksgiving.
ELLEN CURY, PRINCIPAL, TERRESET ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, VIRGINIA
"I want them to have a sense of family, a sense of culture, that there are different cultures around the world. We need to learn about different cultures in order to be able to get along better."
Many Americans put others first on this day. Thanksgiving is a day when volunteers feed the homeless and the poor. For some of the children at this elementary school, it is their first Thanksgiving. As it is for some of their parents or grandparents.
"I think of helping other people. A lot of people don't have what we have."
ELLEN CURY, PRINCIPAL, TERRASET ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, VIRGINIA
"I found out earlier about a mom who had been in our country for six years and this was the very first Thanksgiving that she's ever been at, and to think that she came to our school to have Thanksgiving dinner with her daughter and it was here at Terraset, it was really great."
Thanksgiving is a national holiday that's about community and family and giving thanks.
That's what the kids will tell you when they tell you what they're grateful for.
"Families coming together to eat."