WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden has invited members of the military around the world to his first Christmas, wishing them a happy holiday and thanking them for their service and sacrifice to the nation.
Accompanied by his wife Jill and their new puppy commander, the president spoke via video on Saturday with service members representing the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Air Force and Coast Guard at sites in Qatar and Romania. Bahrain and the U.S.
“As your commander, I wanted to use this opportunity to say thank you, thank you, thank you,” he told service members. “We are grateful not only for your courage, for your sacrifice, for your sacrifice, but also for the sacrifice of your family.”
Speaking from a studio set up at the White House, Biden told them that they were “the solid steel backbone of the nation” and stressed the “truly sacred duty” of caring for soldiers and their families.
Jill Biden expressed sympathy for the difficulties their families are experiencing in taking vacations from their loved ones, noting that the Bidens experienced the same when their son, Pew, who served as Major in the Delaware Army National Guard, was sent to Iraq.
The Fitzgerald family planned to celebrate a relatively quiet Christmas at the White House. The White House said on Friday night the president and first lady attended the Trinity’s Christmas Eve Mass in the East Room, and the Biden family traditionally hosted a pasta dinner and nap with their children and grandchildren.
As the corona virus epidemic re-emerged, driven by the highly contagious Omigran variant, the Fidens sought to provide a sense of togetherness and naturalness to many during the challenging season through their general appearances and statements.
In a Christmas statement, Fidens praised the “tremendous courage, character, resilience and determination” of the American people facing the epidemic, and offered prayers that the nation would see “light in the dark” during the difficult season.
“In this season of joy, we are inspired by countless Americans, reminding us that the things they consider sacred hold us together and transcend the boundaries of distance, time and even an epidemic,” Fiden said in a statement.
As Christmas Eve spreads around Washington and celebrates the holiday, the call for military veterans is the latest Christmas tradition that both have participated in. On Friday morning, they went to the Children’s National Hospital to offer holiday greetings to young patients and their families. The president showed them photos of their new puppy and read a children’s book to Jill patients.
Later, the two stood next to a Jill Biden-themed Christmas tree in the DuPont Circle area. The President hung the 2021 White House Christmas ornament in honor of his teaching work amidst branches adorned with photos of his wife’s face, apples and small chalkboards.
The two responded to calls from the North American Aerospace Defense Command for the Santa-tracking service, talking to parents and children about their Christmas wish lists.
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