Mayor Vincent C. Gray extends the following message to District residents as they celebrate the season's holidays and festivals:
"As we begin Hanukkah and approach Christmas and Kwanzaa, I want to wish a safe, joyous and happy holiday season to all District residents. For those of all faiths as well as those of no particular faith, this season is one of peace, goodwill, and family and community celebrations.
These holidays celebrate values universal to all people and shared across our city. Hanukkah commemorates the triumph of freedom over oppression and light over darkness; Christmas celebrates the advent of a prophet who preached about justice and challenged ruling authorities; and Kwanzaa promotes values like unity, self-determination, community and responsibility.
One of the joys of living in the District of Columbia is the broad diversity of faiths, cultures, ethnic backgrounds and ideological perspectives our residents embody while still sharing core beliefs in democracy, self-determination, civic responsibility and community service. I pray that we will live up to our highest ideals as a city in this season of celebration and charity as well as in the coming year."