National Christmas Tree Lit
President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush lit the national Christmas tree for the last time this year. Notably, there was no attempt to obscure the “Christmas” nature of the Christmas tree. During the ceremony, which takes place at the tree planted on the Ellipse of the Washington Memorial, President Bush said
The simple story we remember during the season speaks to every generation. It is the story of a humble birth in a quiet town, and the story of one life that changed millions more. For two millennia, the story of Christmas has brought joy to families, comfort to communities, and hope to hearts around the world.
He then turned his attention, as he often does, to the men and women in the Armed Forces:
And today, we give thanks to the brave men and women who protect the American people by defending freedom around the world. Over the past eight years, my greatest honor as President has been serving as Commander-in-Chief of the finest military ever known.
Our men and women in uniform have stepped forward to defend our nation during a time of war. They serve with courage and with honor, and they’ve made incredible sacrifices. Many of them will spend this Christmas stationed in distant lands, far from the families they love. Yet they’re never far from our thoughts, and they are always in our prayers. America honors their service, and we are grateful to the sacrifice of the families who stand by their side.
The relatively quiet ceremony on the National Mall stands in contrast to the Washington State Capitol, where a Christmas tree became a holiday tree and a lawsuit installed a Nativity scene.