On Thursday night, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump told a large crowd gathered in Washington, D.C., for the lighting of the National Christmas Tree that the biblical story of the birth of Jesus Christ is the true meaning of the holiday season.
"In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge lit the first National Christmas tree," Trump said, according to a transcript of his remarks shared by LifeSiteNews. "Later that night, African-American community centers held an outdoor worship service on these grounds, and during that service the Washington Monument was illuminated with a beautiful cross, a powerful reminder of the meaning of Christmas."
President Trump: The cross is 'a powerful reminder of the meaning of Christmas' www.youtube.com
As the president noted, the tradition of lighting a national Christmas tree began in 1923 when President Calvin Coolidge lit a 48-foot fir tree as a quartet from the U.S. Marine Band performed, according to the official ceremony's website. This year's 30-foot evergreen tree is located in the northeast quadrant of The Ellipse near the White House and decorated 450 white star ornaments and over 50,000 lights. The tradition
Trump tells nativity story
Trump also drew a connection between the occasion and the story of the nativity of Jesus as told in the gospels of Matthew and Luke that has been enshrined in the Christmas tradition
"More than two thousand years ago, a brilliant star shown in the east," he said. "Wise men traveled far and they came and they stood under the star where they found the Holy Family, in Bethlehem," Trump added, referring to the St. Matthew's account of Jesus' birth.
"As the Bible tells us, when the wise men had come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshipped Him," the president continued. "Christians give thanks that the Son of God came into the world to save humanity," he said. "Jesus Christ inspires us to love one another with hearts full of generosity and grace."
Trump also thanked the Salvation Army
In his remarks, Trump also recognized the efforts of volunteers and military service members who serve American families during the Christmas season and highlighted the work of the Salvation Army. "Each year through their Angel Tree program, the Salvation Army brings new gifts to more than 600,000 children," he noted before concluding the ceremony.
Trump added: "At Christmas we remember this eternal truth: Every person is a beloved child of God. As one grateful nation we praise the joy of family, the blessings of freedom, and the miracle of Christmas."
"On behalf of Melania and our entire family, Merry Christmas, and God bless you all," Trump concluded.