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Merry Christmas, Alabamians

From Gov. Bob Riley

One moment.

One star in the east.

One Holy birth.

A moment when the world stood still, even the universe paused to welcome a Savior to a troubled world. One birth ushered in hope and peace and joy, an opportunity for a sinful world to redeem itself before its Creator. And we celebrate that day, that moment, that Christ child during this season with the same degree of wonderment felt by those wise men, the shepherds and Mary, the blessed mother of Christ.

Now more than 2,000 years later we still celebrate that gift of God given to all the people of earth. Sometimes we forget that this moment was so spectacular and miraculous that it literally split time in two, and set the course for the entire world.

The good people of Alabama have so much for which to be thankful.

We can count our blessings in so many ways. Problems? Of course we have them. We always will. But we also have a great quality of life for most citizens and programs in place to help those who do not.

And there are unlimited opportunities all around us in this great state.

Because of this we should all pause and give thanks.

For the freedoms we enjoy we should always give thanks, never as much as at this time of year.

As we acknowledge the birth of the Christ Child and all that birth meant to mankind, I hope we will also realize that, unlike so many places in this troubled world, we are blessed with the right and privilege to worship God.

We can do that in the way we live, the way we lend a hand to those in need, the way we conduct our business affairs, the way we respect our spouses and our children, and in the love and respect we give our elders.

I hope you will also join me and say a prayer for those men and women in Iraq and at posts around the world who strive to bring the peace we enjoy to other who have never tasted the freedom and prosperity we enjoy.

A New Year is just days away. It will bring new opportunities for all of us and we give thanks for those opportunities. And right now, in a very special way, let's pause and give thanks for:

One moment.

One star in the east.

One Holy birth.