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Public Papers - 1992

Remarks on Lighting the National Christmas Tree


Thank you, Joe, for being the President of the Christmas Pageant of Peace. And may I salute Lucie Arnaz and Lee Greenwood, Keshia Knight Pulliam; the world's greatest weatherman, who missed it tonight, Willard Scott; the Children's Chorus of Maryland; the cast of ``A Christmas Carol'' -- great of them to come down; and of course, the U.S. Coast Guard Band.

Barbara and I are very pleased that all of you could be here tonight. It's wonderful to see so many smiling faces in spite of the adversity. It's especially wonderful to see the children. This is their holiday, an entire season dedicated to the impact of one child on the world. And there's a lesson to be learned from these young people here. Look at what's most important to them, the people they love.

Barbara and I want to dedicate this Christmas tree to the children of America, for they are more than our future; they are our present. And they remind us that we must love one another in order to achieve peace. We must love one another. Our prayers are with them and the ones they cherish.

May I simply say, let us think of the children of Somalia, too, the children everywhere who live in fear and want. Our prayers are with them, and may their families be safe and the sporadic fighting over there end soon.

Let us also say a special prayer for our Armed Forces who are doing their duty, vindicating the values of America and the spirit of Christmas in this far-off land. We salute them and their selfless devotion to country.

For Barbara and me and from our entire family, we wish you all a Merry Christmas, a happy and healthy New Year, and love that will outshine this tree year-round.

God bless you all, and God bless our great country, the United States of America. Merry Christmas.

Note: The President spoke at 5:50 p.m. on the Ellipse during the annual Christmas Pageant of Peace. In his remarks, he referred to Joe Riley, pageant president, and entertainers Lucie Arnaz, Lee Greenwood, and Keshia Knight Pulliam.

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