I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas yesterday. And I want to wish everyone a happy, healthy and safe New Year. Of course, this year, with the millennium, we expect a very big celebration of New Year's , and we'll do everything we can to make sure that people are able to have that celebration safely and in a way in which they can ring in the new year and new millennium with optimism and with hope for the future.
This is always a very special season. It's a time when families and friends come together, and through all the gift-giving what really shows through is the way that people care about one another. That's not only true within families and among friends, but across New York City -- strangers have once again have been doing things deeply caring and generous for each another. The coat drives, the canned food drives, the toy drives, for example, are more than rituals. They are deep affirmations of the fact that we are one community with common bonds that run very deep.
There are, of course, still problems in the city, serious problems, but we can enter the new millennium with a deep sense of optimism about the future, and a sense of confidence that we can confront these challenges and, with a sense of focus and cooperation, we can look forward to a solution.
This is naturally a reflective time of the year, when we look back at what we've accomplished over the past year. But this year is particularly special because we can look back on the entire century and we can see how far the City of New York has come. It's really remarkable. We've gone from a newly consolidated five-borough city that few people expected to thrive into the most diverse, dynamic and successful city in the world.
That took the hard work of millions and millions of people… of parents, and business people and people in different walks of life - teachers and doctors and nurses and waiters and waitresses and construction workers and police officers and firefighters and artists and cab drivers, and so many other people building better lives for themselves and their families, and building a stronger city for everyone.
And as remarkable as the 20th century has been in the history of this city, I'm eager to see the wonderful things that New York City is capable of in the next century. I think that we can exceed even the most optimistic predictions and make our city even more successful, even more compassionate, and even more of an experience that people all around the world will see and will look at us and say, New York City is the capital of the world.
Again, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays to everyone. This is Rudy Giuliani.
# # #