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Bush: Government Doing Everything It Can To Protect Country - 2003-12-23

President Bush is urging Americans to go ahead with their holiday plans even though the nation is on a heightened terror threat alert.

The president says security personnel will be hard at work this holiday season, protecting Americans from harm. "Our government is doing everything we can to protect our country," he said.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Mr. Bush praised those involved in homeland security efforts. He urged the public to celebrate the season knowing that these men and women are determined to keep them safe.

"American citizens need to go about their lives but as they do so, they need to know that governments at all levels are working as hard as we possibly can to protect American citizens," he said.

The national terror threat alert level was raised Sunday to code orange, or "high." That is the second-highest level in the warning system.