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Bush Marks Last Thanksgiving as President


U.S. President George Bush is marking America's Thanksgiving holiday at Camp David - the presidential mountain retreat in Maryland. VOA White House Correspondent Paula Wolfson reports it will be a quiet holiday for the Bush family.

In his weekly radio address - released early to coincide with the holiday - Mr. Bush reflected on his last Thanksgiving Day as president.

He offered personal words of thanks to the American people.

"I am thankful for the good will, kind words and heartfelt prayers that so many of you have offered me during the past eight years," said President Bush. "I have been blessed to represent such decent, brave and caring people. For that, I will always be grateful and I will always be honored."

In his address, the president made special mention of Americans who serve their communities and their country - including members of the military who are far from home during the holiday season.

"Lately, I have been asked what I will miss about the presidency," said Mr. Bush. "And my answer is that I will miss being the Commander-in-Chief of these brave warriors. In this special time of year, when many of them are serving in distant lands, they are in the thoughts and prayers of all Americans."

Mr. Bush is expected to make holiday telephone calls to members of the military from Camp David on Thanksgiving Day.

He is scheduled to spend several days at the secluded mountain retreat with members of his immediate family.

President-elect Barack Obama will be observing Thanksgiving at his home in suburban Chicago, with a houseful of guests.

On Wednesday, the president-elect, his wife and their two children volunteered at a Chicago church, handing out food to the needy. He said he wanted to make sure his daughters realize how fortunate they are and to impress upon them the importance of helping others.

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