758 views | Ekpedeme Umoh | December 25, 2019
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump lit the National Christmas Tree at the Ellipse in President’s Park in front of the White House.
”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,” the president said.
During his first National Christmas Tree lighting back in 2017 alongside his wife Melania, President Trump reminded the nation that Jesus is the real reason for the season.
He stated, “For Christians, this is a holy season, a celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”.
Lighting of the tree is a century-old holiday tradition in the nation’s capital. It is a lighthearted honor for presidents, going back to Calvin Coolidge.
It’s the 97th straight year that the sitting president has participated in the lighting ceremony. The first tree lighting took place on Christmas Eve in 1923, when Coolidge lit a 48-foot (15-meter) balsam fir in front of 3,000 spectators.
The 2019 spruce used for the first time was planted in D.C. in late October and has been under the care of the National Park Service.
The walkway surrounding the National Christmas Tree at the Ellipse features 56 state and territory trees decorated with handmade ornaments that are unique to each tree, according to the National Park Service.
The tree will light up daily at approximately 4:30 p.m. and turn off promptly at 10 pm Sunday-Thursday, and 11 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
The event included performances from singers Jessie James Decker, Spensha Baker, Colton Dixon and Chevel Shepherd, as well as a performance from Max Impact, “the premier rock band of the United States Air Force,” and the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus, The United States Marine Band and West Tennessee Youth Chorus.
Those interested in catching a glimpse of the tree — adorned with 50,000 lights and 450 giant white star ornaments — have until January 1.