01/24/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Obama Puts Out Holiday Radio Address

With the President-elect in Hawaii and most of the political world taking a short breather to celebrate the holidays, the Obama transition team put out a radio address on Wednesday.

The clip touches on the usual themes for this time of year: recognition of the sacrifice made by American troops and a call for community service, along with acknowledgment of the struggling economy.

"If the American people come together and put their shoulder to the wheel of history, then I know that we can put our people back to work and point our country in a new direction," the radio text reads. "That is how we will see ourselves through this time of crisis, and reach the promise of a brighter day."

It ends with an historical anecdote, noting that the first "American Christmas" came when George Washington and his Army crossed the Delaware River at the turning point of the Revolutionary War. It is a slight twisting of history, but a poignant touch.

Here are some of the more noteworthy portions:

Many troops are serving their second, third, or even fourth tour of duty. And we are reminded that they are more than dedicated Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guard - they are devoted fathers and mothers; husbands and wives; sons and daughters; sisters and brothers.

This holiday season, their families celebrate with a joy that is muted knowing that a loved one is absent, and sometimes in danger. In towns and cities across America, there is an empty seat at the dinner table; in distant bases and on ships at sea, our servicemen and women can only wonder at the look on their child's face as they open a gift back home.


These are also tough times for many Americans struggling in our sluggish economy. As we count the higher blessings of faith and family, we know that millions of Americans don't have a job. Many more are struggling to pay the bills or stay in their homes. From students to seniors, the future seems uncertain.

That is why this season of giving should also be a time to renew a sense of common purpose and shared citizenship. Now, more than ever, we must rededicate ourselves to the notion that we share a common destiny as Americans - that I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper. Now, we must all do our part to serve one another; to seek new ideas and new innovation; and to start a new chapter for our great country.