The White House brought the Christmas spirit to the nation’s capital by hosting the 96th Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.
The event was hosted by Antonio Sabato Jr. and featured many performances entertainers like Matthew W. West, the Dominican Sisters, and Anthony Kearns.
According to CBS News, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke introduced President Donald Trump as “the man who brought Christmas back to America.”
In his comments, the president thanked first responders and military for serving during the holiday season.
“Tonight, we honor the first responders who risked their lives to save the lives of others,” said Trump. “And all of America sends our profound gratitude to the incredible men and women of the United States Military. And I’m proud to say our military right now is stronger than ever before.”
Pres. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump continued the 96-year tradition of lighting the National Christmas Tree in the park behind the White House, counting down from 10 with the crowd before the First Lady hit the switch to illuminate the tree. https://t.co/30Hylds3Gj pic.twitter.com/eUO90HwJ4W
— ABC News (@ABC) November 28, 2018
He also pointed the holiday back to Christianity but said that spirit of Christmas was important no matter what holiday people celebrated.
“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… No matter one’s faith or beliefs, the Christmas season reflects all that is best in the American spirit. This is a time of the year 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.”
Watch the tree lighting here:
The president wished everyone a Merry Christmas and spoke a message of unity to the audience.
“We are one American family. We hurt together, we heal together, and we will always pull through together,” said Trump. “This is the United States of America. We are the best in the world, and there’s nobody close.”