President Bush urged Americans to volunteer
to help those in need during the 2005 Christmas holiday season
and in 2006, saying that by doing so “we make our nation
a more just and compassionate place.”
President George W. Bush speaks to members of the United States Armed Forces during Christmas Eve phone calls at Camp David, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2005.
Speaking December 24 in his weekly radio
address, the president recounted the suffering caused by
hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as well as other natural disasters,
and said the Christmas holiday “reminds us of our
obligation to share … blessings with others.
“There are many among us who are hurting
and require a helping hand. In the new year, I hope Americans
will look for ways to volunteer your time and talents where
they are needed most,” he said.
Bush also expressed gratitude to U.S. troops
fighting and “spreading liberty” in Afghanistan,
Iraq and elsewhere, including those who “have made
the ultimate sacrifice.” He also remembered their
families, saying that the separation from loved ones is
particularly hard during the holiday season.
For additional information about how Americans
celebrate Christmas, see related
Following is the transcript of President
Bush’s radio address:
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
10:06 A.M. EST
Saturday, December 24, 2005
RADIO ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT
TO THE NATION [AUDIO
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. On this
Christmas Eve, Laura and I send our best wishes to families
across America as you gather in your homes to celebrate the
holiday. Christmas is a time of joy and peace, and we hope
the holiday season brings all of you happy reunions with families
and friends, and time to rest and reflect as you look forward
to a new year.
President George W. Bush and Laura Bush stand before the White House Christmas tree in the Blue Room of the White House. In keeping with this year's theme, "All Things Bright and Beautiful!" the Fraser fir is decorated with fresh white lilies.
At Christmas, we give thanks for the gift
of the birth of Christ, and for the blessings that surround
us every day of the year. In this great and prosperous land,
we have so much to be thankful for, and Christmas reminds
us of our obligation to share these blessings with others.
There are many among us who are hurting and require a helping
hand. In the new year, I hope Americans will look for ways
to volunteer your time and talents where they are needed
most. By reaching out to a neighbor in need, we make our
nation a more just and compassionate place.
This Christmas, we remember our fellow citizens
who suffered from the hurricanes and other disasters that
struck our nation this past year. We pray for their strength
as they continue to recover and rebuild their lives and
During the holiday season and throughout
the year, we think with pride of the men and women of our
Armed Forces, who are keeping our nation safe and defending
freedom around the world. In Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere,
they are protecting our liberty by spreading liberty to
others, and all Americans are grateful to our troops for
their courage and commitment.
We're also grateful to their families. Staying
behind when a family member goes to war is a heavy burden
-- and it's particularly hard at Christmas. We pray for
our military families; we ask Almighty God to bestow His
protection and care on their loved ones as they protect
our nation from grave dangers.
We also remember the heroic men and women
who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation's freedom.
We pray that God will comfort the loved ones they left behind.
The sacrifices of these brave troops have rescued millions
from lives of tyranny and sorrow, and made America more
secure. We will always cherish the memory of each of our
fallen servicemen and women, and count it a privilege to
be citizens of the country they served.
The times we live in have brought many challenges
to our country. And at such times, the story of Christmas
brings special comfort and confidence. Christmas reminds
us that we can trust in God's promise of peace on Earth
and goodwill toward men. On a night more than 2,000 years
ago, an angel of the Lord brought good tidings of great
joy: the God of Heaven had come to Earth, and He would be
with us always.
Thank you for listening, and Merry Christmas.