(WASHINGTON) — “As we reach for one of those gifts under the tree and untie a bow,” says Sen. Jim Risch, “I encourage all of us to remember the bountiful and most prized gifts we enjoy — the gifts of freedom and worship.”
In this week’s Republican address, as Americans take part in holiday celebrations, Sen. Risch, R-Idaho, calls us to remember that our freedoms are by the men and women of the United States military, and “[t]heir sacrifices and those of their families allow us to live in the freest and most prosperous nation in the world — the United States of America.”
Read the full transcript of the Repbulican address:
“Hi, I’m Senator Jim Risch and I am honored to represent the people of Idaho.
“Today, all across America, we are gathering with family and friends to celebrate the holidays. These are priceless times following age-old traditions and making memories that will last a lifetime. It is a season filled with awe, wonder, colorful and twinkling lights, familiar songs, delightful events and sharing gifts.
“As we reach for one of those gifts under the tree and untie a bow, I encourage all of us to remember the bountiful and most prized gifts we enjoy—the gifts of freedom and worship. Even though we have problems in our country, this is the time of year to look at all the good things and all the blessings that we have.
“Our freedoms have been defended for more than 200 years by our men and women serving in uniform in the United States military. They serve in our homeland and in faraway places across the globe. Their sacrifices and those of their families allow us to live in the freest and most prosperous nation in the world—the United States of America.
“As you gather with your family around your table, take a moment to remember these brave and dedicated soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines—especially those serving in harm’s way and separated by vast oceans and miles of land from their special loved ones. These are the heroes who keep our nation free. And remember their families, who also make great sacrifices. They, too, are invaluable to our hopes and dreams in this country. We are a grateful nation.
“And with all our gifts, hopes and dreams on our minds, let’s also remember those who do not have significant means; those who live on shoestring budgets or even less and may not be able to easily provide for their needs or fill their tables. May we each consider how personally we can encourage and help make theirs a blessed and happy Christmas, too. We’ve heard it said many times that Americans are a generous people, and we are indeed, the most generous in the world.
“I wish each of you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, happy holidays of all kinds and all the best for a wonderful new year. May God continue to bless you, and to bless America.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio