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Bush Marks Holiday Season, Hopes for Season of Peace - 2002-12-05

President Bush is marking the holiday season in Washington with a full schedule of events that takes note of the different religions practiced in the United States. He is taking part in ceremonies marking the coming of Christmas, the end of Ramadan, and the Jewish festival of Hanukkah.

One theme is constant in all the president's remarks for people of many religions this is a time for prayers and peace.

As he watched two young girls light a Hanukkah menorah at the White House, the president spoke of the meaning of the Jewish "festival of lights." "Each year Hanukkah brings a message of hope that light will overcome darkness, that goodness will overcome evil and that faith can accomplish miracles," he said.

Mr. Bush noted that Hanukkah celebrates a victory over oppression and a miracle that occurred when oil to light a lamp for only one day, burned for eight. "Today the spirit of those early patriots lives in the lives of the state of Israel and throughout the Jewish community and among all brave people who fight violence and terror."

The president then offered a prayer that the season of light will also be a season of peace.

On Thursday, he will take that message of peace, faith and compassion to Washington's Islamic Center, where he will make remarks on Eid al Fitr the end of Ramadan. Later in the day, as darkness falls on the nation's capital, the President will join a large crowd near the White House for the lighting of the national Christmas tree.