With Sept. 11 still fresh in their minds, Americans at ground zero and across the nation celebrated Thanksgiving with renewed fervor and patriotism even as they struggled to cope with losses.
Many found new meaning in the holiday as they joined family and friends, counted their blessings and found ways to help those less fortunate.
"I'm a lot more thankful for my job, for the warm weather, everything," said Tim Shores, 40, a steelworker watching Detroit's Thanksgiving parade clad in an American flag blanket and a Detroit Lions cap.
The Gambales of New York's Brooklyn borough lost their oldest daughter, Giovanna "Gennie" Gambale, 27, in the World Trade Center attacks. They spent Thanksgiving with their other two children trying to avoid memories of holidays before.
"It goes without saying, we miss her tremendously, but we miss her every day, and we're just trying not to let the holiday peck at us in another way," said mother Maryann Gambale, 53, as tears sprang to her eyes.
At the trade center site, Thanksgiving provided no respite from the recovery and cleanup effort. Crews were there on the holiday because families of missing firefighters had criticized a Veterans Day work stoppage.
"We're hoping that maybe the towers will give somebody up for us today," firefighter Michael Crowell said. "There are families sitting out there, and there's not too much for them to be thankful for. Today's the day you really hope you can find someone, to find a way to give back to the families."
A nearby hotel provided turkey and salmon dinners, and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani stopped by to thank workers.