U.S. President-elect Barack Obama on Wednesday called for unity among Americans to share the burden of the economic crisis and strive for a better future.
"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," he said in a radio/video message being broadcast on the Christmas eve.
He called on Americans to "serve one another, to seek new ideas and new innovation and to start a new chapter for our great country."
Obama promised his incoming administration will operate in such a spirit.
The president acknowledged the daunting challenge the country is facing:
"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."
But he invoked George Washington's surprise attack on British colonial troops on the Christmas Day of 1776 to make the case that "hope endures, and that a new birth of peace is always possible."
Obama, who will be inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009, will be one of a few U.S. presidents who faces both war and economic woes at the beginning of the administration.
(Xinhua News Agency December 25, 2008)