50,000 lights illuminated President’s Park in Washington, D.C. Thursday night as President Trump and the First Lady helped light the National Christmas Tree.
After counting down from five, First Lady Melania Trump pressed the ceremonial button illuminating the Nation Christmas Tree, Thursday night.
The tree was planted and decorated by employees of the National Parks Service and the Department of the Interior. 30 feet tall, the tree was covered by 50,000 warm white lights and 450 giant white star ornaments, the Associated Press reports.
After lighting the tree aglow, President Trump shared the birth story of Jesus Christ.
He said, “More than 2,000 years ago, a brilliant star shone in the east. Wise men traveled far, far afield – they were a long distance away – and they came and stood … under the star where they found the Holy Family in Bethlehem.”
He continued, “As the Bible tells us, when the wise men had come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary, his mother, and [they] fell down and worshiped him. Christians give thanks that the Son of God came into the world to save humanity.
“Jesus Christ inspires us to love one another with hearts full of generosity and grace,” the President said as he concluded the telling of Christ’s birth.
Joining the President in celebrating the 97th year of the National Tree lighting, was the U.S. Marine Core band, the Tucson, Arizona Boys Choir, the West Tennessee Youth Chorus, and representatives from the Salvation Army. According to the AP, James Decker, Spensha Baker, Colton Dixon, the Air Force rock band Max Impact and Chevel Shepherd also all performed at the tree lighting. The first National Tree was lit on Christmas Eve in 1923 by President Calvin Coolidge. 3,000 spectators came out that night to watch the illumination of the 48-foot balsam fir.