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Bush Marks Thanksgiving Holiday, Monitors India Attacks


U.S. President George Bush is monitoring developments in India from Camp David, where he is observing America's Thanksgiving holiday with members of his family. VOA's Paula Wolfson reports Mr. Bush called India's prime minister from the presidential retreat to express condolences in the wake of terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino says President Bush called Prime Minister Singh to stress his solidarity with the Indian people.

She says Mr. Bush offered support and assistance as the Indian government works to restore order, comfort the victims and investigate "these despicable acts."

Mr. Bush placed the call in the early morning hours from Camp David. A short time later, he was back on the telephone, carrying out what has become a holiday tradition.

He called members of the U.S. military to thank them for their service - speaking with soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guard personnel now deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and in support operations around the world.

In his weekly radio address - released early to coincide with the holiday - he saluted their bravery, and said he will miss serving as their commander-in-chief.

"During this holiday season, we give thanks for those who defend our freedom," President Bush said. "America's men and women in uniform deserve our highest respect and so do the families who love and support them."

President-elect Barack Obama once again delivered the Democratic Party response. He talked about the challenges facing the United States as it observes Thanksgiving Day 2008.

"Times are tough. There are difficult months ahead," he said. "But we can renew our nation the same way that we have in the many years since Lincoln's first Thanksgiving: by coming together to overcome adversity; by reaching for and working for new horizons of opportunity for all Americans."

Mr. Obama spent the holiday at his home in Chicago with his wife, daughters and a houseful of guests. He has also been monitoring the situation in India, and getting updates from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

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