(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.
Let us all be thankful for what we have and use these challenging times to re-invent America as the country we have been in our best times: one of hard work, humanity, and peace. For tool long, Bush and neo-con Republicans thought that we could just bully the world and forget about those in the country and world who are suffering. Now that more of us are suffering and we are seeing the "true" costs of war, maybe we can begin to think about the savings our society accrues by investments in our collective well-being, peace, and humanity.
almost sounds like the line harvey dent says in batman
This is too Much, slow down take a break
Happy Thanksgiving and best wishes to all, I just hope the republicans choke on their turkeys.
I give thanks that the republicans were defeated and that we finally have a glimmer of hope that President Obama can rescue us from this republican generated economic depression.
Yeah...a new and brighter day is to come...in 4 years and change!
the hardest thing is wateing until jan 20th until obama can can take office . this country is in a crisis , bush has no economoic plan save goldern handshakes for his friends on wall st and the oil industy. so i think people are just a bit somber at present knowing they have to wate , its kinda like you got the equipment but you a long way from a wall socket and ya gotta wate until the plug gets plugged in then you have realy got power an can get a job done . i think thats the frustration people feel right now. were with ya obama .
God bless you Mr. Obama this holiday, may you and your family have a wonderful thanksgiving.
A new and brighter future is on the way.
This is a true leader, a true blessing to our country. He is not even the President yet, but he is already taking charge, organizing, and doing what we so need to be done. This Thanksgiving I am thankful for the promise of a new tomorrow, a bright future free of prejudice, snobbery, and selfishness. GOD BLESS our President Obama and his family. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there.
Would someone please tell Obama he's not president until 20 January! And to get rid of that stupid president elect seal he's using on his podium. With his head swelling like it is, it just might pop!
Let's all give thanks for what we have at this moment on this day. Happy Thanksgiving America !!!
Here is wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving. May our country once again become united as one of ALL backgrounds from the right to the left and make our nation strong once again. ENOUGH with the divisions in our country. God Bless America!
Is this message from the Office of the Socialist-Elect?
Start preaching "work hard for what you want" and leave my earnings alone.
I have great faith in you president elect that you will get this country back on track and may the lord bless you and keep you safe. And those people that Sarah had at her hate rallys are no longer out there. And am also hoping and praying that you will serve a second term as president.
Who is the President? Nothing like overstepping the line.
"Let" tho oil companies bail out the car companies seeing as how they feed off each other any way
His message is good but the arrogance of him coming out with any scripted public message is stunning. He's not the president yet.
On trivial side, during his interview late night on 20/20, Barack Obama said he would try to conserve energy.
So why during daylight hours is that lamp in the background turned on?
Happy Thanksgiving Mr. President elect Obama! I cant wait for you to take office. God bless you and your family.
God bless you & your family, President-elect Obama, & HAPPY THANKSGIVING! We are behind you 1000% !!!
That's why we voted for you Barry..
What difference does it make what he says. He is extremely shady and you can't believe anything he says.
Who cares what obama the magnificient has to say. He's not in office yet.
What a great president(-elect).
What I am especially thankful for this Thanksgiving is that Barack Obama is soon to become my country's President. May January 20 arrive swiftly!
I support you all the way. I appreciate very much your wisdom and kindness that you have shared with us on this Thanksgiving Day. I hope that the people (they know who they are) who try to devide us, and redicule every move you make, will examine their consciences and help you unite the country and fix its ills, instead.