President Bush says there are difficult times ahead in the war against terrorism. Mr. Bush said the September 11 attacks have made Americans more appreciative of how much they have to be thankful for this holiday season.
President Bush said the evil terrorists intended September 11 has resulted in good they never expected. He said Americans have come together to help feed starving children in Afghanistan while pursuing those responsible for the attacks. Mr. Bush said the most difficult steps of that fight are still to come. "We will face difficult times ahead," he said. "The fight we have begun will not be quickly or easily finished. Our enemies hide and plot in many nations. They are devious and ruthless. Yet we are confident in the justice of our cause. We will fight for as long as it takes, and we will prevail."
Mr. Bush said Americans are thankful for the character of their fellow citizens who have helped victims of the attacks. He said the nation is thankful for the men and women of the military who are defending American lives and liberty with what he called "skill, honor, and success." In his weekly radio address, the President said Americans are thankful for new heroes police, firefighters and emergency workers who he said have "provided lasting lessons in courage." "We're thankful, this year even more intensely, for our lives and our families, and the love of those around us," he said. "Americans are remembering what really matters -- holding our children more closely, giving them more time. And we are thankful to God who turned suffering into strength and grief into grace."
In America, President Bush said blessings are meant to be shared. So he and First Lady Laura Bush are calling on Americans to volunteer in their communities this holiday season to celebrate what the President calls "the decency of the American people" who have stood for traditions of tolerance and religious liberty. "At this season, Laura and I hope you'll find ways to reach out and share your blessings and talents in your own communities - tutor or mentor a child; volunteer in a hospital; support our troops by becoming active in the USO; comfort those who feel afraid; show your kindness to a Muslim neighbor; help someone in need of shelter, or food, or words of hope; and continue to pray for America," he said.
Mr. Bush is at the presidential retreat at Camp David Saturday. He is preparing for another week of diplomacy in meetings Tuesday with the President of Yemen and Wednesday with the President of Spain.