(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.
Obama did not come out against Prop 8 and was silent as gays marched for their rights.
Is his message that gays are not human? Why won't he let them get married? Obama talks about unity and tolerance but HE DOESN'T WALK THE TALK.
Why should Rachel Maddow and her friends listen to Obama when he treats them as if they were sub-human???
Happy Thanksgiving Barack and Family. Let's hope the entire country gives your administraion the chance it deserves. That means turning off Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly, Fox Noise and seeing if Ann Coulter can keep her mouth permanently closed. These people are determined to butcher Obama's strategy weeks before he even takes office. TURKEYS!
Where is our president BUSH....He is still our President for almost 2 months to go...............I resent obama steping in before he is even sworn in..........All he cares about is himself.......he doesn't care about these people who voted for him.....They were used by him to get where he wanted to be .....He loves no one but himself.......wake up
Maybe for blacks but not for gays.
President elect-Obama--you said you are the voice of unity and tolerance but you do not back up that talk.
Are you just another slick talking politician???? If you refuse to support gay marriage then your words are a sham.
Our country needs brighter days ahead and something to look forward to. All the gloom and doom of the current administration has ruined our attitude.
We need to start fresh with Barack Obama at the helm.
We in the US can all give thanks that the recent election went smoothly, and that new, competent leadership has finally arrived.
It's too much to bear. The striking difference between this photo of Obama, and the nonchalance of Bush's photo in the story below....
We finally made it through 8 years of incompetence! Happy Thanksgiving!
Thanks very, very much for your inspirational message.We need it in these dificult times.To all that wonderful family I wish the best of the best in these Thanksgiving and the days to come. God bles you and God bless America.
What a great man.
Be proud what you elected.
He looks a little nervous.
Is he summoning spirits again? I hope it's not the dark one that inhabits his being. I can see it in his eyes.
a real President-–(after Bush its just shocking – I thought that all our leaders were stupid) .. Happy Thanksgiving America
To quote Obama, "We only have one President at a time." Why is he making a Holiday Address? And perhaps more importantly, where is our current President Bush?
I'm no longer hungry.
Kennedy stated, " Ask not what your Country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country." These words are as true today as they were fifty years ago.
Obama needs to quit acting like he's already president, beacuse
Bush is still our president untill Jan. 20, 2009
Then we had better pray really hard, because we are going to need it.
We as a Nation have so much to be thankful for.
May GOD continues to give HIS WISDOM to our President-elect Barack OBAMA.
May GOD bless the United States of America
Thank you Mr. President Elect for your kind words on this day of giving thanks. I hope you and your family can enjoy a wonderful day as many others sit down with their family an friends. Let also send prayers to the families who have lost a loved one, or have love ones over seas protecting our well being. God bless you (even the Bush fam) an God bless America an all around this wonderful place called earth. AMEN
pretty speeches, but he's already backed out of his promise to do away with don't ask, don't tell, his administration is loaded with lobbyist, and he has lied about his promise to repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Happy Holidays Mr. Obama, same old, same old. Nothing new here, just another politician.
Well said! We love you
Thanks for a message that we all need to hear, thanks for learning from past presidents, thanks for looking ahead, thanks for giving hope, thanks for reminding us why America is the greatest nation on earth.
Happy thanksgiving to you and your family, my new President.
I know our country is in dire straights, our economy is hanging off its bones and there is much to do to find a new track to roll this train on into 2009 and beyond, but I am glad to have you leading us.
With one heart and one voice, I am here to support you and the renewed spirit of cooperation, heartfulness and humanity I felt on November 4th. I am proud of America's promise to regain her strength and integrity, respected for all the right reasons.
Gratitude to the men and women who serve and are in harm's way. Hope to all those who have lost work and are looking to spring forward. Health to those who are not well. Strength to all those who struggle to stay commited to the path of change.
I am grateful for all those around me, near and far, that I love and love me. And again, very grateful that I feel such pride in saying that you are my new President.
Happy Thanksgiving, President elect Obama.
Obama is not a US Citzen therefore can not be the president of this country. The truth will come out.
Thank you Mr. President. May you and yours have a wonderful day.
This character has absolutely no idea what he is about to experience as the head of a crumbling nation. I cannot help but smell another Jimmy Carter administration in the making. . The American people once again have the best government that money can buy. I hope they are pleased.