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Bush offers thanks and predicts struggle

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush delivered a Thanksgiving message in his weekly Saturday radio address, saying the terrorist attacks of September 11 have inadvertently given the country "much to be thankful for."

Character, decency, heroism and bravery, the president said, have brought together a grieving nation.

"Offering thanks in the midst of tragedy is an American tradition," he said, noting that Abraham Lincoln had proclaimed days of national thanksgiving "even during a bloody Civil War."

Yet Bush also sought to gird Americans for what could be a long struggle ahead, despite the gains made in recent weeks in the war in Afghanistan.

"We will face difficult times ahead," he said. "The fight we have begun will not be quickly or easily finished. Our enemies hide and plot in many nations. They are devious and ruthless."

"Yet we are confident in the justice of our cause. We will fight for as long as it takes, and we will prevail."

The president spent the Thanksgiving holiday in Camp David with his immediate family and some of his closest aides.

He urged Americans to give thanks this year by giving to others -- by tutoring, volunteering, helping in any way possible.

"Comfort those who feel afraid," he said. "Show your kindness to a Muslim neighbor. Help someone in need of shelter, or food, or words of hope."

"May God grant us patience, resolve and wisdom in all that is to come," he said.


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