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tv   Hannity Holiday Special  FOX News  December 24, 2011 2:00am-3:00am PST

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>> merryhristmas and happy new year. >> merry christmas. [ laughter ] captioned by closed captioning services, inc >> sean: welcome to the hannity holiday special. i'm sean hannity. in a few minutes we'll take you to afghanistan for exclusive look at how the troops there stay connected to their families back home over the holidays. we'll also hear a timeless message from president ronald reagan recorded exactly 30 years ago tonight. but first, a fascinating look back even farther than that. at the christmas season and one of the most trying times in american and world history. now stanley winetrab details the minute-by-minute history of a country thrown in war, 70 years ago in the brand new book "pearl harbor christmas. a world at wor. 1941." he joins me here. how are you?
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>> good to be back with you. >> sean: as we were coming on the air, you were gracious enough. you saved these cards. bubble gum cards? >> yes. baseball cards. >> sean: if you can pan in on this, this is winston churchill, among many. look at that. it has history. i said have you heard churchill in the recordings? vy a recording. toil, tears, sweat. he has a very -- it was recorded. this was a spark of interest for you for history. >> 70 years ago on 23rd of december. churchill was at the white house meeting with president rosenfeld and at a press conference with roosevelt. the correspondents yelled we can't see you. we can't see you. he was a rollly poly in short. stansomeone said stand up on the chair. he did and was introduced. >> sean: at the time historically, a lot of people were isolationists.
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theydy not want america in the battle of europe at all. after the bombing of pearl harbor, churchill thought it was imperative to get over here and lobby fdr. >> for europe, first. >> break this down. took seven days to get here. >> took nine days to get here. he came to dinner and he wouldn't leave. he had it too good. he had the drinking water in the white house. he decided in america, away from the idea of japan first. >> he understood the sent in the the country that believed in isolationism was strong. so he was fearful that america would not get involved because he was pushing prior to that for america involvement. >> he knew the country wasn't ready to go to war. but japan changed that for us. and suddenly, we were in, at least a war on december 7. 1941.
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hitler came along, and a couple of days later and decided he was going to honor his mutual assistance back with japan. declare war. he said we now have an ally who hasn't lost a war in 3,000 years. he thought this was a big thing for him. besides, we withdrawal all of our arms and equipment away to fight japan. >> sean: in that sense, he might have made fdr decision. we learned since he wanted involvement before this. he was working through the forces in the country. >> he wanted involvement with germany. he sent ships out in the north atlantic. >> sean: he was dealing with resistance congress. >> isolation was very strong. we had two broad oceans as far as many americans were concern and they would keep the enemies away from us. but oceans don't mean anything. the japanese went many
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thousands of miles up the north pacific to attack pearl harbor. we have didn't know they were coming. >> sean: you know what, we did awaken, they did awaken america. which proved pivotal. without the united states. even the alliance later on with the soviet union and then russia and the united states. ussr. we have wouldn't have -- i don't know what history would have. >> the confidence in the christmas period between roosevelt and churchill made it pretty clear that russia wasn't really an ally. we just wanted to keep russia at war, fighting the germans. we had to divide our arms not only among the british on the russians, but we also had to keep for ourselves to fight japanese. that meant huge industrial buildup to push in to by church hill. >> sean: you put in a little fackoid i found interesting. goods that were available,
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that december, '41, things as simple as nylons. would a year later be perishs. incapable of finding them. >> no new tires or audibles. with converted from automobiles to planes and tanks and ships immediately. >> sean: immediately. >> a year later we were launching 2,000 ships a year. building 90,000 planes a year. it was inconceivable we could do that. be churchill made it realistic for americans to think in terms of really going at the heavy production of war material. >> sean: a hero in terms of the world history. somebody that really understood the nature and the battle and the conflict of dealing with an enemy. >> he helped them turn the country around. >> sean: i agree. well done. thank you.
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lots more to come as "hannity" holiday special continues. we look at how the troops are spending holidays. and ainsley earnhardt with a story of homecoming of a true my name is robin. i'm a wife, i'm a mom... and chantix worked for me. it's a medication i could take and still smoke, while it built up in my system. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantiis proven to help people quit smoking. it reduthe urge to smoke. some people had changes in behavior, thinking orood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these, stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems,
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which could get worse while taking chantix. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reactioto it. if you develop these, stop taking chantix and see your doctor right away as some can be life-threatening. if you have a history of heart orlood vessel problems, tell your doctor if you have new or worse symptoms. get medical help right away if you have symptoms of a heart attack. use caution when driving or operating machinery. common side effects include nausea, trouble sleeping and unusual dreams. my inspiration for quitting were my sons. they were my little cheering squad. [ laughs ] [ male announcer ] ask your doctor if chantix is right for you.
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>> sean: welcome back. the holidays are a time when we realize how important family, friends and community are to our lives. one man who knows more than anyone else this year is army sergeant joel tivara. our own ainsley earnhardt traveled to florida to get this amazing, amazing story. >> the early morning of march 12, 2008. started out than any other in southern iraq. two days away from returning home to the states, sergeant joel tavera volunteered to join other soldiers in pulling last-minute guard duty. >> about 300-meters in front of me was a vehicle that
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started tavara and the other army soldier were riding in when it was hit by a rocket. the vehicle exploded, spun around and by the time i got up there, tavare was next to the vehicle. >> captain lombardo pulled joel away from the wreckage. >> he was engulfed in flames from the explosion. he was making noises so i knew he was alive. >> reporter: but just barely. >> he had combination of severe head injuries and severe burns throughout the the body. amputation, multiple neurological problems. >> i came from work. my husband is waiting for me. >> he said i have to tell you something. >> he walked in and i said we have to talk. she immediately gave a sense, and said -- it's joel. >> don't tell me nothing happened to my son.
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>> i say yes, but he is alive. she is like what happened? >> how do you tell your wife this? your baby that you held at one point? >> joel was in a coma with injuries and burns so severe nobody expected him to survive. >> many people say he has had the most serious injury in the war. this person was not supposed to liver. they call me from germany and say he was fine. i don't think he will make it to america. he is coming. >> i promise if you keep him alive with me, i will take care of you.
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>> after 81 days in a coma joel woke up in medical center in texas. >> i didn't know where i was. i didn't know what was going on. really? >> he lost a leg, his eye, fingers on one hand, suffered a traumatic brain injury and burned on more than 60% of his body. his parents put their lives on hold to be with their son as he learned to walk and speak again. endured dozens of surgeries. with their support, he began to make unbelievable recovery. >> he went from walking and talking to sal da dancing and everything. >> two years ago, joel met andy, who had been through a life-changing experience of his own. when he ran to the world trade center on 9/11 to help with the search and rescue. >> i lost three friends on that day. i made a promise to them that i would do something for my country that made a difference. >> so andy started a charity called building homes for
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heroes. that is exactly what they do. building mortgage free homes, severely injured soldiers. >> he asked me what do you want? >> i want to live in a private gateed community. i'd like to have a -- [ inaudible ] >> so andy, his 3,000 volunteers and william ryan homes got to work. >> this is our ground breaking ceremony from the homes for heroes. >> from the first scoop of dirt to last coat of paint, they didn't stop. >> took five months to build the home beginning to end. >> working constantly. >> we don't miss a day. to us, veterans day is 365 out of the year. >> result is a brand new home. specially designed for joel and the injuries. >> this house is beautiful. built in five months? >> thank you. built in fifth months. we started a year ago raising funds. 4200 square feet. it's beautiful.
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>> we arrived before andy was set to hand over the keys. >> doing finishing touches. 11th hour work. but just about all done. >> a heated pool, recovery. >> it's special soft water to accommodate burns on his skin. it has therapeutic jets, jacuzzi and spectacular backyard to enjoy with his friends. >> after 75 surgeries and four year of medical care, sergeant tavera is finally able to walk out of the hospital and go to a place he can call home. >> along it with, a homecoming. from the door of the hospital, he and his parents are met with a caravan of police officers. fire trucks, military vehicles and veterans. leading the way through tampa street as they are cheered on by members of the community. bagpipers escort them through the new neighborhood where 1,000 mech of the community are waiting. >> sergeant joel tavera, son to jose and marissa, the
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proudest and most loving parents have ever known. some to me and many here today, son to a nation, son to the u.s. of a. welcome home, son. [ applause ] >> the huge crowd are no surprise to anyone to joel and the impact he has on everyone he meets. >> there is no finer example of courage. and commitment. and selfless service and dedication. he has got unbelievable spirit. he has a smile on his face. he loves life. >> when you people like joel and what they have gone to, how can you not do whatever you can to help them get on their feet? >> last time you saw me, i was on a bed not doing anything with my life. >> sharp, articulate and funn
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funny. he just got banged up bad on the outside. inside he is the same guy. >> early i was referenced to a hero. i don't look at it that way. find out about my job and i got hurt. it survived. [ applause ] >> i have known that man for a year-and-a-half. i never one time heard him complain about anything. nothing. i don't know that i would be the man he is. >> y'all don't see my bad days. >> do you have bad days? >> we all do. i'm not perfect. no one is perfect. >> takes every day with a smile. amazing. if everyone in the country could meet him, the country would be a better face. >> ainsley earnhardt joins us now. you said something as we were talking about the story, you said that you do stories, he changed your life. >> absolutely. explain that.
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>> i asked sean if he reported a story and gone out on the field and came home a changed minimuses of that story. that is what happens when you meet joel. sergeant joel tavera. he is an amazing man he brought me perspective to my life. he has such a positive attitude. 60-70% of his body is burned. years in the hospital. 57 plus surgeries. lost his leg, lost both of his eyes. physically he looks completely different than he did when he went to war. he did all of this for our country. for our freedom. came home with a positive attitude. so many people were there to honor him and celebrate with him. when you see a guy that has gone through this and still has a smile on his face, it reminds you of the perspective and how grateful we need to be. his mom said i don't complain anymore. when i wake up my son every morning or go to see him in the morning and he has a smile on his face. how can i complain? >> sean: it reminds me you
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are describing the exact experience i had when colonel north took me to bethesda and walter reed. i walked out of there a little embarrassed that i think i ever have problems. >> right. >> sean: because of what the guys are dealing with. guys that lost limbs and legs, meeting children that lost their mom and dad. >> joel is grate to feel be alive. >> sean: he wants to help other people now. >> yes. >> sean: people with war injuries and he will speak around the country. we will hear a lot from him. >> he is good friends with guys on "dancing with the stars." he was there for the finale. they have become buddies because they both have similar stories. if you want to donate to the charity, it's building homes for heroes. this is building homes for heroes. get to the right charity. it's such a neat group of individuals doing this. >> sean: great story. honestly. truly inspiring guy. amazing organization. by the way, from long island new york. if you would like to help people like sergeant tavera go
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to coming up next, we will take you to afghanistan to see how those that are fighting overseas stay connected with their familili
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>> sean: welcome back to "hannity" holiday special. for past three years we brought you exclusively behind the scenes of operation patriot care package. an effort created by michael and monica to raise awareness of the sacrifices that the military families make not just in the holidays but all year round. this year, they follow the 172nd brigade blackhawks who were double deployed, meaning they are based in germany meaning they have to leave their loved ones far from friends and family when they deploy to the war zone, in this case, afghanistan.
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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>> one year later, here we are. we are in afghanistan. this should put a small and select group of individuals who are volunteering to serve their country. what we do is recognize the individuals who have earned either the combat badge, combat action bat and combat medical badge. ♪ ♪ >> ten years of combat. ten years. that could lead to 312 million people in our country. 51,585 have earned the combat brant exam. 61,000. for those getting your whereib today there are 61,000 others in the entire country and entire military. you are part of a small population volunteered to serve your country.
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>> we're one of the closest control bases to the border of afghanistan and pakistan. ♪ ♪ pay aren'tly the armor, more known as charlie tanks. this is uniquely challenging based on the distance from everyone else. very elusive enemy and the terrain. >> located about four kilometers off the afghanistan-pakistan border. we are tasked with border intradiction. which means that we prevent infiltration in afghanistan. insurgent activity. >> i look forward to talking to family. especially my wife.
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that is from rocket. sometimes they land around here. >> receive incoming. rocket from up north. normally there will be another one following that. be ready. >> a lot of guys have fun names like rocket city. >> incoming. >> as you can see all of it coming in by air. water, food, ammo, this way. food and water an you bring everything in from here. >> all right! >> you know, we're pretty close. right on the border.
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convoy have a hard time making it all the way out here. without either getting hit up or stuck. here it comes. >> we have four to five millimeter rockets shot at us by taliban that missed spot. struck the area around here. resulting in afghan civilian casualties. we are going out to a town, one of the three local towns. pretty good relationship with the elders. with the people. >> we brought him in and treating the wounds. >> we go out and talk to people. food, hand crank radios. >> one day, they will leave the country and you have apa to keep you safe. >> they don't have anything. they get excited about everything. >> it makes me miss pretty
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much. i can give something for my whole kids. seeing how he lights up when i give him things. see how they light up when we give him stuff. >> being celebrated from the holiday is tough at christmas. being deployed up here. it weighs on you because you see the picture of the friends and family back in the united states. they are there without you. to receive the gifts met through the holiday. to get something from a stranger is amazing. especially for one who doesn't receive packages. >> sean: the u.s. military understands its strengths come from the families behind the war fighters. the army family is supported by the frg or the family readiness groups. they are made up of challenges. when we come back, we will meet them and learn what they do this time of year to support the loved ones who are serving this great country from home far away. dg>úú
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>> sean: welcome back to the "hannity" holiday special. we have continue now with our exclusive list at operation patriot care package. the idea is to bring spouses and children together with a shared cause during the holidays as they ban together with people experiencing the same pains of separation. >> we are in a unique situation where we live in
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germany. being in afghanistan we are technically double deployed. you have spouses away from their family, primary family in the united states, separated by a good distance. you have their husbands who are in afghanistan. makes that it much harder. the good news is that this is one of the strongest frgs i've seen if not the best. >> the frgs, family readiness group. its main goal is information dissemination. we try to inform spouses they are able to cope and deal with the army life. keeping them informed. >> this is a family readiness group, collaboration of wives in a company. we pretty much are the glue that holds the familiness together when guys are gone. >> it's very important. >> it's important to know what they are fighting for.
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it's very important. >> little box of love is what i like to call it. >> for people to recognize and do things for them out of their october is amazing. so they are our angels, in fact, right now, because we do have the funds and the means that what we get paid isn't enough to do it for everybody. >> our husband been in military five years. we have been married three-and-a-half. and right now, i'm pregnant. and you hear about a -- due a month after christmas with our first child. >> sonograms from my last appointment. yeah. sonograms for him. and a note. i'm putting that. he says that is the best thing i can send is the sonogram. he is so excited. >> we just had lillian in august 23. brad wasn't able to come home. he will hopefully be home
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beginning of the next year and meet her for the first time. we're excited to meet daddy, right, lilly? >> unfortunately with the situation on the ground here, we just arrived in country and assume a mission. i wasn't able to make it home for the crew. my wife is an impressive woman to be able to watch me go away for the third time now. for this one to have a child and to raise it on your own is just, she is a spectacular woman. >> they missed a lot of things. the army family, especially being in europe, he loves his daddy and misses him. that is the hardest part. being two parents, being a mommy and a daddy. >> merry christmas! >> how is everybody doing? >> all right. here today to receive a couple of care packages. we ones packed by the frrg, it's packed for you so it's a bi-name box. we talk about the stuff and people say america has
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forgotten about the war. it's been going on for than ten years now. for most people it's not true. you have strangers and companies like tactical and, of course, mr. chuck norris and soldiers angels, take time out of their day. out of their own pocket to send you a care package. >> we endorse chuck. >> on patrol? >> sure. it's >> tough. >> chuck norris. >> he loves to open up a box and see the favorite things in there and know he has a piece of home. >> sergeant michael mccain. you get a personalized video from your wife as well. >> chuck norris, his favorite cut of meat is the round house.
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>> i love to hang up his pictures, to let me know how big he is getting, even though i'm not. there you can tell by how he does stuff. >> hey, babe. i want to tell you i love you and i can't wait for you to come home. we miss you so much. love you. by babe. >> that is my main motivation. making sure i come back and especially make sure my guys come back. >> wish we were home. >> it's not a christmas without you, dad. i hope you like this christmas card drawn for you. i love you, dad, so much. this will be for you, dad.
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merry christmas, dad. >> hi, kevin. we love you, we miss you. we hope you have a merry christmas. we love you. we love you, kevin. >> love you, daddy. >> can't wait to see you when you come home. everybody blow daddy kisses. >> yeah. sometime it's tough. i wish i was there. but i'm here. that's what i do. >> it means a lot to a. >> it means a lot to soldier to the here close to the afghanistan-pakistan border, isolated from the rest of the brigade and, of course, being deployed from family. just to receive a package like that, knows that someone is thinking about them. ♪
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>> lou. >> on guard. >> manpower right there. thanks for being heroes for us. we love you guys. support from home. like to say hi to my mom and my dad and the rest of my family and my daughter victoria. awesome. sonograms. for our kid. pulling for a boy. hopefully it's a boy. here our pictures from my wife's doctor appointment. the last one are pretty good. i love you, so does baby.
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>> just received a christmas package from my wife. it's very important. it reminds us that we get back home and missing. knowing she doesn't have me there with the kids. another christmas deployed. >> sean: for more information on operation care package go to coming up next, the one christmas that shaped the future of america forever. we are going inside the history of washington's
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>> sean: america might not exist as we know it today had it not been for advance on christmas night, 235 years ago. with the hem of reenactors from washington crossing, oliver north takes us back to fateful night. >> christmas night, december 25, 1776. a date etched in the arrestkys of american history as a pivotal moment of victory in the revolutionary war. >> until that night, they defeated despair in war for independence. >> the 1776 started out well for george washington and the continental army.
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when thing went to long i land it was awful. it was not going well august to early december. for george washington. >> as harsh winter set in, they faced lack of food and clothing. desertion was rampant. a victory was needed. >> citizens, come and join general washington's army. >> there was a feeling that the game is over. british were talking that washington lost and just a matter of picking up the campaign in the spring to have an easy victory. that is why washington as a general had to think out of the box. which he did. >> washington encamp on the west side of the delaware river, as the british army fortified its position on east
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side of the river. >> there the conditions worsened, general washington conceived a plan which had only one clear outcome. victory or death. >> this army will not liv not wr and die. today i bring on a new challenge. we have decided to return the jerseys. and take the presence. >> the american revolution was in tatters, the patriots were really on the run. washington couldn't magically come up with blankets and proper clothing and food supplies but what he was able to do is forge buying things about pennsylvania, and delaware. that they could use for the troops. but it was really thomas payne the american crisis. this is a famous bit, this is the time that tries men's sou
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souls. not a moment for sunshine and patriot soldiers. he used payne to say let's win it and not give up. continental army to go march to trenton, new jersey, and lead a surprise attack with haitians and hope of a decisive victory for american americans. >> victory or death. >> boats were used for the crossing. they're large and heavy.
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usually cast with carrying big iron down the delaware. not army troops. counting on the support from the two divisions south of trenton, washington assembled his men in preparation for the crossing. the idea is if you could cross delaware, even though it's frozen and flooded. surprise attack on christmas day, you could end up not only baosing morale but show the continental army was far from finished. >> under the cover of a cold christmas night in 1776, 2400 men began crossing the ice choke river. it was a treacherous journey. the operation was slow and difficult. and abrupt change in the weather added sleet and snow. the raging winds combined with blinding snow proved to be too much for the supporting division, led by the generals. they failed to cross the southern point along the delaware. washington's single division is on its own in enemy territory. >> on the morning of decembe
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december 26, washington troops marched in trenton. surprised the girryson and forced a surrender. >> the battle was a quick victory for george washington. they had gun powder in order with their musket they were able to do a complete and utter surprise attack. they were caught by surprise but suddenly, muskets were pointed at the troops. a short battle ensued and hundreds were prisoner of war and washington had a huge victory. >> news of the resounding victory spread rapidly throughout colonies. >> lack of provision. >> in my opinion, the significant moment in the american revolution.
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>> it's obvious to sustain morale for the revolution. patriot cause was starting to wither and washington provided the big, historic military victory. >> on that historic christmas night, 1776, when general george washington lead the continental army across the river, it gave hope and meaning to the revolution. what he didn't know is he gave america its first christmas. >> washington crossing historic park was founded in 1917 to preserve the site for which the continental army crossed the delaware liver and reenactment take place there every christmas day. still ahead we jump forward to history, 30 years ago tonight. 9:00 p.m. eastern. president ronald reagan looked in the camera from the oval office and spoke to you the
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american people. you may be amazed at how much his message stands the test of time. my name is robin. i'm a wife, i'm a mom... and chantix worked for me. it's a medication i could take and still smoke, while it built up in my system. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantiis proven to help people quit smoking. it reduthe urge to smoke. some people had changes in behavior, thinking orood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these, stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems, which could get worse while taking chantix. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reactioto it. if you develop these, stop taking chantix and see your doctor right away as some can be life-threatening. if you have a history of heart orlood vessel problems, tell your doctor if you have new or worse symptoms. get medical help right away if you have symptoms of a heart attack. use caution when driving or operating machinery. common side effects include nausea, trouble sleeping and unusual dreams. my inspiration for quitting were my sons. they were my little cheering squad. [ laughs ]
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[ male announcer ] ask your doctor if chantix is right for you.
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>> 30 years ago tonight ronald reagan sat not oval office and talked to the american people.
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we are again faced with the same struggles in the timeless message. we leave you with a special message of former president ronald reagan december 23, 1981. >> at christmastime every home takes on a special warmth. ii have to say that is true at the white house. this final home, the people's house has seen so much and been part of our lives and has been humbling and inspiring for nancy and i to spend our first christmas in this place. we lived here for almost a year now as your tenants and what a year. for the people, we have been through quite a lot, moments of eye and tragedy. moments that i believe have brought us all closer together. the world would never starve for
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wonders but only for the warmth of wonder, at this special time of year we all reif you our sense of wonder that we recall the story of the first christmas in bethlehem nearly 2th years ago. some celebrate christmas as the birthday of a brave and goodness federal and teacher. others believe in the divinity of the child born in bethlehem that he was and is the promised prince of peace. yes, we have questioned why he who could perform miracles chose to come among us as a helpless babe, but maybe that was his first miracle, his first lesson that we should learn to care for one another. tonight in millions of american homes the flow of the christmas street a reflection of the love jesus taught us, like the shepherds and wise men of the first christmas we have always tried to follow a higher right, a star. a lonely catch fire vigils along the frontiers, not darkest days of the great depression, through
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war and peace, the faith and freedom that brighted american sky, at timed our footsteps may have faltered but trusting in god's help we have never lost our way. just across the way from the white house, are the two great emblems of the holiday season. a menorah and the national christmas tree, a beautiful towering blue spruce from pennsylvania. like the natural christmas tree, our country is a living, growing thing, planted in rich american soil, only our devoted care can bring it to full flower. so let the holiday season be a time of rededication as revise and extend joyce remember, however, that for some americans, this will not be as happy a christmas as it should be. i know a little of what they feel. i remember one christmas eve during the great we presentation
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my father opening what he thought was a christmas greeting, and it was a notice he no longer had a job. over the past year we begun the long hard work of economic recovery, our goal is an america which every citizen would nodes and want as job can get a job. our program for recovery has only been if place for 12 weeks but it is beginning to work. with your help and prayers it will succeed. we are winning the battle against inflation. runaway government spending. and taxation. and that victory will mean more economic growth, more jobs, and more tonight for all americans. a few months before he took up living here, john kennedy, tried to sum up the temper of the times with a quote from an all their tied to christmas, charles dickens. we were living, he said, in the best of times and the worst of times. in some ways, that is more true today. the world is full of peril as
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well as program. too many of its people, even now, live in the shadow of tyranny. christmas means so much because of one special child. but christmas also reminds us that all children are special. that they are gifts from god. gifts beyond price that mean more than any presence money can buy. in their love and laughter, in our hopes for their future, low the true meaning of christmas. so, in a spirit of gratitude for what we have been able to achieve together over the past year and locking forward to all that we hope to achieve together not years ahead, nancy and i want to wish you all the best of holiday seasons. as charles dickens who i quote add few moments ago said so well if a "christmas carol," god bless us every one. go night. >> a timeless


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