(WASHINGTON, DC) -- Mayor Vincent C. Gray today released the below message to District residents celebrating the major December holidays and festivals:
“I want to wish District of Columbia residents of all faiths as well as those of no particular faith a safe and happy holiday season. The major end-of-the-year holidays observed by many residents of our incredibly diverse city – including Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa – celebrate values universal to all people.
“Today, Jews begin the eight-day festival of lights known as Hanukkah, which commemorates the triumph of religious freedom and justice over oppression. During Christmastide, Christians celebrate the birth of a child destined to preach good news to the poor and freedom to the oppressed. And, with Kwanzaa beginning on December 26th, African-Americans observe a holiday that promotes values like unity, self-determination and communal responsibility and cooperation.
“We are One City of many peoples with a rich array of cultural, religious and ethnic identities and experiences. But, at our best, we share core beliefs in democracy, civic responsibility and compassion for our fellow human beings. In this season especially, I encourage all of our residents to perform acts of kindness, love and service for the benefit of those who may be less fortunate.
“I wish you and yours the best in this season, and pray we will all work together for the good of our community in the coming year.”