WASHINGTON, DC — In this week’s address, the President and First Lady wished Americans a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, and thanked our brave troops for their service. Especially as our combat mission in Afghanistan comes to a responsible end in the coming days, we are reminded of all that military men, women, and families sacrifice to keep us safe. The President and First Lady asked everyone to take some time this holiday season to visit JoiningForces.gov and find out how to give back to the men and women in uniform who have given so much for all of us.
THE PRESIDENT: Merry Christmas everybody! Now, we’re not going to take much of your time because today is about family and being together with the ones you love. And luckily for me, that means I get a little help on the weekly address, too.
THE FIRST LADY: The holidays at the White House are such a wonderful time of year.
We fill the halls with decorations, Christmas trees, and carolers – and this year, we invited more than 65,000 people to join us.
Our theme was “A Children’s Winter Wonderland” – and Americans young and old had a chance to come together and celebrate the season.
THE PRESIDENT: And today, our family will join millions across the country in celebrating the birth of Jesus – the birth not just of a baby in a manger, but of a message that has changed the world: to reach out to the sick; the hungry; the troubled; and above all else, to love one another as we would be loved ourselves.
THE FIRST LADY: We hope that this holiday season will be a chance for us to live out that message—to bridge our differences and lift up our families, friends, and neighbors… and to reconnect with the values that bind us together.
And as a country, that also means celebrating and honoring those who have served and sacrificed for all of us—our troops, veterans, and their families.
THE PRESIDENT: In just a few days, our combat mission in Afghanistan will be over. Our longest war will come to a responsible end. And that gives us an opportunity to step back and reflect upon all that these families have given us. We’re able to gather with family and friends because our troops are willing to hug theirs goodbye and step forward to serve. After a long day, we can come home because they’re willing to leave their families and deploy. We can celebrate the holidays because they’re willing to miss their own.
THE FIRST LADY: And so, as our troops continue to transition back home—back to our businesses, our schools, our congregations, and our communities—it’s up to all of us to serve them as well as they have served us.
You can visit JoiningForces.gov to find out how you can honor and support the troops, veterans, and military families in your communities.
That’s something we can do not only during the holiday season, but all year round.
THE PRESIDENT: So Merry Christmas, everybody. May God bless you all. And we wish you and your family a happy and healthy 2015.