Bush Spends Easter with Troops, Prays for Peace

( [email protected] ) Mar 27, 2005 10:48 PM EST

America’s first family spent Easter Sunday with troops at Fort Hood – a base that has contributed thousands of troops to the U.S. force in Iraq – where they prayed for hope and peace in the world.

"We wish all of the fellow citizens and their families a happy Easter," President Bush said after joining a few hundred members of the Protestant congregation at the 4th Infantry Division Memorial Chapel in Texas.

"We pray for peace. We pray for our soldiers and their families," he told reporters after the service. "It's an honor to be here at Fort Hood to celebrate Easter with those who wear the nation's uniform."

The president also said he keeps “the men and women of our armed forces” in his “thoughts and prayers”, during his annual Easter message.

“May the joy of Easter fill our hearts with gratitude for our freedom, love for our neighbors, and hope for peace,” he wrote in his 2005 message.

After the service at Fort Hood, President Bush, first lady Laura Bush, daughters Jenna and Barbara, and parents George and Barbara Bush, returned to his ranch in Texas for an Easter dinner.