(CNN) – As the nation enters the traditional holiday shopping season in the midst of a financial crisis and is reminded of its own potential vulnerability by the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, President-elect Barack Obama called on Americans to come together for the sake of the country’s future.
Watch: Obama reflects on the meaning of Thanksgiving
This Thanksgiving “takes place at a time of great trial for our people,” Obama says in his weekly Saturday radio address which his transition team released Thursday morning.
Listen: Obama's weekly radio address
“Across the country, there were empty seats at the table, as brave Americans continue to serve in harm’s way from the mountains of Afghanistan to the deserts of Iraq s. “At home, we have an economic crisis of historic proportions,” he says.
“But this Thanksgiving, we are reminded that the renewal of our economy won’t come from policies and plans alone – it will take the hard work, innovation, service, and strength of the American people,” Obama says.
“So this weekend – with one heart, and one voice, the American people can give thanks that a new and brighter day is yet to come.”
Obama will spend Thanksgiving in Chicago with his wife and daughters, according to his transition team, and Vice President-elect Joe Biden will spend the holiday in Nantucket, Massachusetts with family.
(full text of Obama’s weekly address after the jump)
Full text of President-Elect Barack Obama’s weekly radio address for Nov. 29, 2008:
Nearly 150 years ago, in one of the darkest years of our nation’s history, President Abraham Lincoln set aside the last Thursday in November as a day of Thanksgiving. America was split by Civil War. But Lincoln said in his first Thanksgiving decree that difficult times made it even more appropriate for our blessings to be – and I quote – “gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people.”
This week, the American people came together with families and friends to carry on this distinctly American tradition. We gave thanks for loved ones and for our lasting pride in our communities and our country. We took comfort in good memories while looking forward to the promise of change.
But this Thanksgiving also takes place at a time of great trial for our people.
Across the country, there were empty seats at the table, as brave Americans continue to serve in harm’s way from the mountains of Afghanistan to the deserts of Iraq. We honor and give thanks for their sacrifice, and stand by the families who endure their absence with such dignity and resolve.
At home, we face an economic crisis of historic proportions. More and more Americans are worried about losing a job or making their mortgage payment. Workers are wondering if next month’s paycheck will pay next month’s bills. Retirees are watching their savings disappear, and students are struggling with the cost of tuition.
It’s going to take bold and immediate action to confront this crisis. That’s why I’m committed to forging a new beginning from the moment I take office as President of the United States. Earlier this week, I announced my economic team. This talented and dedicated group is already hard at work crafting an Economic Recovery Plan that will create or save 2.5 million new jobs, while making the investments we need to fuel long-term economic growth and stability.
But this Thanksgiving, we are reminded that the renewal of our economy won’t come from policies and plans alone – it will take the hard work, innovation, service, and strength of the American people.
I have seen this strength firsthand over many months – in workers who are ready to power new industries, and farmers and scientists who can tap new sources of energy; in teachers who stay late after school, and parents who put in that extra hour reading to their kids; in young Americans enlisting in a time of war, seniors who volunteer their time, and service programs that bring hope to the hopeless.
It is a testament to our national character that so many Americans took time out this Thanksgiving to help feed the hungry and care for the needy. On Wednesday, I visited a food bank at Saint Columbanus Parish in Chicago. There – as in so many communities across America – folks pitched in time and resources to give a lift to their neighbors in need. It is this spirit that binds us together as one American family – the belief that we rise and fall as one people; that we want that American Dream not just for ourselves, but for each other.
That’s the spirit we must summon as we make a new beginning for our nation. Times are tough. There are difficult months ahead. But we can renew our nation the same way that we have in the many years since Lincoln’s first Thanksgiving: by coming together to overcome adversity; by reaching for – and working for – new horizons of opportunity for all Americans.
So this weekend – with one heart, and one voice, the American people can give thanks that a new and brighter day is yet to come.
More talk of change but same old Washington. Does anyone there have an original thought.
So instead of 4 more years of Bush we could 4 more years of Clintons.
Happy Thanksgiving to you Mr. President-Elect and to your family
The only "trials" should be a War Crimes Trial for Bush Cheney and Rumsfield ...
They lied to the American public and did a bait and switch on us all...
Then many in the Bush Whitehouse profitted from both wars....
Their deregulation of Wall Street and Banking has lead the nation to the brink of financial disaster ...
They tortured prisoners.. and that was what always made us different, the Bush Administration made us no better than those we are now at war with .. The greatest thing about AMERICA was that we held ourselves to a higher standard ......Well we used to .......
May the Creator bless our Earth Mother and All who live upon Her.
May the Creator bless our new President and the United States of America.
May the Creator guide us through the coming days, months, and years of this recovery plan.
May we know Peace on Earth and unity world wide through this experience.
Aho Mitakaye Oyacin... All are my Relations.
I didn't vote for Obama, but I hope he is successful. We need someone with some organizational skills who can lead this country back onto the right track.
That day started on November 4th and will end in January 20 th of 2016.
Thank you President-elect for for your inspiring words.
To a new and brighter day
is dealing with the last years.......putting it all on trial
For " A new day" isnt worth the air that its said upon
if the foundation of our future is not forged in a restoration of real, honest and honed accountability .
Or shall we keep the "get out of jail free" card for our most honored and revered criminals?
Nothing new about that.........
Happy Thanksgiving! ; ) thanks for the dinner........ and everything after..........(one of the last Mohicans)
Hell0 – he's not President YET!
This is refreshing!
A new and brighter day? Isin't that what Hitler promised the Germans? or what Castro promised the Cubans? Only God can improve mens lives; when a man promises "change" be prepared for the worst examples of human depravity.
Beautiful speech; lovely sentiments.
I'm just wondering how all that Pilgrims/Indians/maize/turkey stuff fits in...
Happy Thanksgiving, Everybody!!
I know you are a great leader and going to be one of the most respected Presidents of the United States. But where is the reference to loss of innocent lives in India because of the terrorist attacks in your radio address. How long we (USA) will follow the double standard in treating terrorism?. How are the attacks in Bombay different from attacks in NY?. Terrorism has no colors and please treat them equally. Pakistan is the country where terrorists live and thrive, yet USA has supported the military regime (in past) of Pakistan citing national interest. We should be supporting democracy which in the long run benefits our national interest.
Allowing military to govern Pakistan is a counter-productive position like the case of Bin Laden. In the long run, only democracies will be our friends not military regimes. USA allowed Pakistan to be nuclearized and we will repent that later.
Unless you dismantle (disolve) ISI, we will not succeed in Afganistan and Pakistan in controlling extremism. I do not know politics but I can sense what is going on!
Just hope he keep his word about helping veterans as a desert storm vet who has been fighting the V A for 11 years about benefits only to here last week it was the government who did this me and other soldiers.it really makes me feel like a fool.
This guy likes fame. I don't know how he can turn a thanksgiving into a political message.
Although i supported him, i wish he would stop talking like he is still campaigning, it is really making me annoyed.
Right-wing nuts will start posting right about now, considering they were in hibernation during the election, they are coming out in full force.
President Elect Obama I am from the UK and I wish you a very happy 'Thanksgiving day.' May God bless you and your family and the people in America. I follow your progress every day when I get home from work. I pray that you will be successful in solving the big problems in America. Good Luck.
To all the idiots that keep bashing President-Elect Obama's change: He's talking about POLICIES. Not FACES. I don't care if he picked Jimmy Carter and his team (though they're mostly dead or too old), if they have experience then it's all good.
So, you critics think he should elect "The guy next door" with ZERO experience?
He hasn't even taken office yet, so enough of your "I'm b**ching about living in a Liberal Country" attitude.
God Bless you Pres-elect Obama, have a happy thanksgiving.