WASHINGTON, D.C., November 29, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – President Donald Trump affirmed Christianity’s sacred origins Wednesday evening, asking God to bless every American during the annual lighting of the National Christmas Tree.
The president opened his remarks by thanking the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation for their work on the event, which dates back to President Calvin Coolidge in 1923 and this year featured 12 different performers or performing groups, including the U.S. Army Band.
Trump thanked the performers, but singled out as “very special” the Dominican Sisters of Mary, a group of singing nuns from Ann Arbor, Michigan. He also highlighted students who created the ornaments decorating 56 different Christmas trees in President’s Park, one for each U.S. state or territory.
“For Christians all across our nation, around the world, this is a sacred season that begins 2,000 years ago when Jesus Christ was born,” Trump said. “An angel declared to the shepherds tending their flocks, ‘Behold, I bring you good tidings, great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.’ There in Bethlehem, Mary and Joseph held in their hands the son of God; the light of the world; and, through Him, the promise of eternal salvation.”
The president went on to call Christmas a time “for rejoicing with our family and friends, for spreading charity and goodwill in our commitment all over this country in all of our communities, and for giving thanks for all of the blessings in our lives.” Among those blessings, he said, are foster parents, first responders, soldiers, and private citizens who step up to help their fellow man in times of need.
“Their families are all our families, and we thank them so much for their greatness and for the incredible job they do,” Trump said of the military in particular. “We ask God to watch over this nation’s heroes, and to shed his almighty grace upon our nation. And we pray that America’s light will shine more brightly and stronger than ever. And it will.”
On behalf of First Lady Melania Trump and himself, the president concluded by wishing that the season “bring peace to your hearts, warmth to your homes, cheer to your spirit, and joy to the world […] Merry Christmas and God bless you.”