President Joe Biden helped light the National Christmas Tree on Thursday while recalling those lost to the COVID-19 pandemic and crediting the American people for his optimism.
Biden likewise honored assistance individuals, saying thanks to them for their sacrifices.
“We are a great nation because of you, the American people,” Biden said, joined on stage by his wife, first lady Jill Biden. “You’ve made me so optimistic.”
It was Biden’s first time taking part in the almost 100-year-old custom in the country’s capital. VP Kamala Harris and her better half, Doug Emhoff, joined the Bidens.
Singer-actor LL Cool J hosted the program, which featured performances by Billy Porter, Chris Stapleton, H.E.R., Kristin Chenoweth, Patti LaBelle and Howard University’s gospel choir.
The evergreen tree on the Ellipse, only south of the White House, was illuminated in red and white lights. It is encircled by more modest trees addressing each U.S. state and region and the District of Columbia. Understudies from the nation over made the adornments used to decorate the trees.
The principal National Christmas Tree lighting was hung on Christmas Eve in 1923.