By DARLENE SUPERVILLE (Associated Press)
NANTUCKET, Mass. (AP) – President Joe Biden on Thursday gave away at least a half-dozen pumpkin pies to Massachusetts firefighters during a Thanksgiving appreciation show, and his young grandson left with a red fire hat atop his blond curls.
“Oh wow,” Biden was heard saying when he saw Beau Biden, who is almost 3 years old, walking out of the headquarters building wearing a hat. The president was with the firefighters who had lined up outside the building to wait for him.
Biden had expressed gratitude for firefighters and other emergency personnel earlier in the day when he and his wife, Jill, spoke by phone with hosts of NBC’s broadcast of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.
“I want to thank the firefighters and the police officers, the first responders. They never take a break,” he said during the call. The Bidens spoke later Thursday to units from each of the six branches of the U.S. military, stationed in Europe, at sea, at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, the White House said.
“We remember them every day,” he said during the broadcast. “God bless our troops.”
Jill Biden appeared to be trying to get her grandson to talk to the firefighters, but Beau didn’t look up. She was heard saying she didn’t know why he was so quiet.
During a brief conversation with reporters, Biden said he hopes the incoming Republican-controlled House will continue US aid to Ukraine. He also said his team is involved in negotiations to avert a freight rail strike in early December that could further disrupt the economy.
After the visit, Biden returned to the Nantucket home where he is spending the holidays with family, including son Hunter and his wife, Melissa — who are Beau’s parents — and daughter Ashley.
They are camping at a large compound on Nantucket Harbor owned by David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm. Biden celebrated Thanksgiving at home in 2021.
The Bidens have a more than 40-year tradition of spending Thanksgiving on the Massachusetts island.