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Bush Praises Service Members, People Who Help Others

By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 27, 2003 – Among other thoughts at Christmas, Americans think of the brave military men and women who are fighting terrorists in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere "so we do not meet these killers on our own streets," President Bush said in his weekly radio address today.

"We're grateful for the courage and commitment of our troops, and we're safer because of their skill and sacrifice," Bush said. "Separation from loved ones is always difficult, especially at this time of year. All our men and women serving abroad can know that their families miss them, millions are praying for them, and their nation is proud of them."

The president said Americans also think of those who spend the holidays in sadness or solitude. "We think of those facing illness, or the loss of a loved one, or the hardships of poverty or unemployment," he said. "And across our country, caring citizens are reaching out to those in need by volunteering their time. By serving a cause greater than themselves, Americans spread hope in our country, and they make our nation better, one life at a time."

People who serve others are living out the spirit of the Christmas season, and the holidays can deepen the sense of gratitude for life and for all the family and friends, Bush noted.

Noting that Christmas centers on the birth of a child and the message of hope and peace, Bush said, "We hear that message in many ways at Christmas, and it never loses the power to lift our hearts. In this great and prosperous land, we remember how much we have been given, and how much we have to share."

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