Relaymedia

President Bush Lights National Christmas Tree at Pageant of Peace

''Christmas is a time to rejoice, and to give thanks for the blessings of the season and for the blessings that surround us every day of the year.''
( [email protected] ) Dec 02, 2005 10:17 AM EST

On December 1, President Bush lighted the National Christmas Tree at the Christmas Pageant of Peace to celebrate one of the great traditions in capital of United States.

"Christmas is a time to rejoice, and to give thanks for the blessings of the season and for the blessings that surround us every day of the year. We also remember that we have a responsibility to help those in need. America is a compassionate and generous land. And acts of kindness toward others fulfill the spirit of the season." Said Bush.

"As we approach Christmas in this time of war, we pray for freedom, and justice, and peace on Earth. In his Christmas Eve address to the nation in 1941, Franklin Roosevelt said that "Against enemies who preach the principles of hate and practice them, we set our faith in human love, and in God's care for us and all men everywhere." We ask for God to watch over our men and women in uniform who are serving overseas.Their families miss them -- hold a seat open for them -- and pray for their safe return. America's military men and women stand for freedom -- and they serve the cause of peace. Many of them are serving in distant lands tonight, but they are close to our hearts."

The tradition of Christmas Pageant of Peace started in 1923 when President Calvin Coolidge light the first national Christmas Tree. This year bush and the First Lady Laura Bush together attended the ceremony along with their three daughters, who started the "Project Backpack," to help give children displaced by Hurricane Katrina new backpacks filled with books, and toys and school supplies.

"These girls are an example of the compassion that is found in the hearts and souls of Americans everywhere, and they have shown how much good can be done when we reach out to help a neighbor in need." Said President Bush.

Beginning today, Christmas celebration activities will be held nationally until Christmas on December 25.