President’s Park
Washington, D.C.

6:28 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  This won’t take more than half an hour.  (Laughter.)

Thank you, Secretary Haaland, for that introduction.  And Merry Christmas to everyone.

On behalf of Jill and Kamala and Doug and I, we welcome you all to the National Christmas Tree lighting.

Thanks for tonight’s host, LL Cool J.  (Applause.)  Give him a — and all the great, incredible performers who are here.  As a matter of fact, I don’t know how they did it with — just that one beautiful lady coming out.  Anyway.  It’s a long story.  (Laughter.)  Freezing. 

And a special thanks to the National Park Service and the National Parks Foundation, which take such great care of our national parks, including right here tonight at President’s Park.

For 100 years, Americans have gathered at the White House

to celebrate the holiday season with the lighting of the National Christmas Tree.

Through seasons and [of] struggle and strife, progress and prosperity, for a century and counting, we’ve come together in a spirit of unity and joy, hope and light — and so we do today, with an eternal spirit of our nation as well.

Earlier this week, Jill unveiled the theme of this year’s

holiday at the White House: “We the People.”  The very idea of America.  (Applause.)  The first words of our Constitution.  The beating heart of our democracy.  An enduring reminder that

America has many, many strengths, but our greatest strength is

America standing united.

And during this holiday season, we reflect on our blessings that, despite our differences, there are far more things that unite us as one America — common values like liberty, opportunity, dignity, respect and honor, and compassion.

In this season of fellowship and goodwill, we remember those values, and we seek to make them real for each other.

We also hold in our hearts everyone who is missing a loved one tonight and through this Christmas season.  We’re grateful for all those who console and give them comfort.

That’s America — a nation full of talent and aspirations, daring and undaunted.  A nation that hurts and heals but never, never, never, ever gives up.

We’re the only nation in the world that comes out of every crisis we’ve encountered stronger than we went in.  That’s “We the People.”

And so on this sacred season of joy and hope, let’s join together with confidence in a singular American belief in anything is possible, because that’s what I see in the American people.

You’re the reason why I’ve never been more optimistic in our — about our future.  And we just have to remember who we are.  We’re the United States of America.  And there’s nothing, nothing beyond our capacity if we do it together.  (Applause.) 

So, from the Biden family to yours, Merry Christmas, America! 

God bless you all, and may God protect our troops.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  (Applause.)  And goodnight.

6:31 P.M. EST

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