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In holiday greetings, President Bush said Jewish observance of Yom Kippur makes the world a more peaceful place.
"Yom Kippur is a solemn time to express thanksgiving that the Almighty remembers the names of all His children," said a White House statement issued in the name of the president and First Lady.
"During this blessed Day of Atonement, Jewish people gather in synagogues, consider their deeds and actions and celebrate as the sound of the Shofar proclaims the forgiveness and mercy shown by the Creator of life.
"As the High Holy Days come to an end, the Jewish people in America and around the world remind us of the gift of religious freedom and the blessings of God's steadfast love. On Yom Kippur and throughout the year, your deep commitment to faith helps make the world a more hopeful and peaceful place."
Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean, whose wife and children are Jewish, also issued greetings for the holy day. "My family and I ask all to join with the Jewish people to use this time as the beginning of a new era of peace and security," he said in a message.