- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 26, 2001

President Bush said in a Christmas message yesterday that Americans were thinking of families who lost loved ones, both in the September 11 terrorist attacks and on the battlefield in Afghanistan.
"This Christmas finds many facing hurt and loss, especially the families of terror victims and of our young men killed in battle," Mr. Bush said in a holiday message sent to radio stations across the nation. "America grieves with you."
"During this time of conflict and challenge, Christmas is a day on which we celebrate hope and joy; when our thoughts turn to justice and compassion, and to a Prince of Peace born long ago," the president said.
"This is a day on which we give thanks for the wonder of God's love, for the blessings we have received, and for the families we love," he said.
Mr. Bush was celebrating Christmas at the Camp David presidential retreat, where he and his family exchanged gifts.
First lady Laura Bush gave her husband several sweaters along with a keepsake commemorating his meeting last month at their ranch near Crawford, Texas, with Russian President Vladimir Putin, said spokesman Taylor Gross.
The Bushes gave books as gifts to their twin daughters. Barbara received a book on fashion; Jenna, "Still Alive: A Holocaust Girlhood Remembered," by Ruth Kluger, Mr. Gross said.
The first family was joined by several family members, including Mrs. Bush's mother, Jenna Welch; and Mr. Bush's parents, former President George Bush and Barbara Bush.
The president also telephoned nine men and women in the military to pass along his best wishes and to thank them for their service, said White House spokesman Scott Stanzel. Church services were held at a Camp David chapel.
Mr. Bush taped the message before departing for Camp David on Saturday.

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