As a nation, we enter 2009 with a seemingly-conflicting mixture of crisis and hope.

That conundrum prompted me to write the following for a national news web site:

As Americans, we enter 2009 riding a tidal wave of crisis: a plummeting economy, multiple wars and a nation torn apart by bitter partisanship.

Yet we ride that wave on a surfboard of hope driven by a new President, a promise of change and a commitment to approach our many problems by building coalitions and crossing the angry battle lines of partisanship.

It’s no longer a question of "can we do it?" It becomes a mandate of "we must do it."

Americans cannot, and must not, rely on the bitter, partisan crutches of the past. The many challenges facing this nation cannot be overcome by Democrats or Republicans. We must face them as Americans: United in purpose, driven by faith and marching in unison.

Americans have always found a way to muster up the courage and conviction to face monumental challenges ranging from the revolution that founded this nation, a civil war that threatened to rip it apart, the Great Depression, two world wars and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

The question we face is "can we do it yet again?"

I think we can. This democratic republic of ours have lasted far longer than others.

As Americans, we have been down many times but we have never been counted out. We may be battered by an economic crisis, two wars and widespread lack of confidence in our leaders but we can struggle to our feet one more time and make it to the bell.

Enough of the metaphors.  Happy New Year from all of us to all of you.