President Barack Obama, waves with daughter Sasha Obama, 8, after going to the movies in Kaneohe, Hawaii Thursday, Dec. 31, 2009. The Obamas are in Hawaii for the holidays.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (Alex Brandon, AP / December 31, 2009)
HONOLULU (AP) — President Barack Obama is wishing the nation a happy New Year with "brighter days ... ahead of us."
Obama said in a posting on the White House's Web site that 2009 was a difficult year for many Americans but the country rose up and met those challenges. He says that determination has kept the American Dream alive for generations.
The White House released the message while Obama and his family are on vacation in Hawaii, the state where he lived as a child.