U.S. President George W. Bush on Saturday said he looks with hope to the year ahead and the many new opportunities in the future.
In his New Year's message released by the White House, Bush said the coming year is a time of hope as Americans prepare for the future.
Reflecting the past year, he talked about the hurricane disaster and the war in Iraq.
"Americans responded with an outpouring of compassion to help the people of the Gulf
Coast region recover from one of the most devastating natural disasters in our nation's history," said Bush.
He noted the elections in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Bush promised that his government will continue to support these "young democracies" and "lay the foundation of peace for our children and grandchildren."
He was echoed by White House spokesman Trent Duffy, who said the president is resolved to "work tirelessly for peace abroad and prosperity at home" in 2006.
Bush and his wife, Laura, and her mother, Jenna Welch, will be dining at Bush's private ranch in Crawford, Texas, but it is not clear whether they will stay up long enough to ring in 2006.
In past years, the president and first lady have started the new year with a sunrise walk on their property.
This year, though, Bush is leaving early on New Year's Day aboard the Marine One presidential helicopter to visit wounded troops and award Purple Hearts at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.
From there, the president is flying back to Washington on Air Force One.
The president is ending his weeklong stay at the ranch, where he cleared brush, rode his bike and prepared for his sixth year in office, with a steak dinner.
On Monday, a U.S. federal holiday, Bush is expected to watch the Rose Bowl football championship, which pits No. 1 Southern California against No. 2 Texas for the national title.