Obamas Thank Troops, Mention Christian Faith in Christmas Address

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama thanked and urged prayers for U.S. troops and their families in their weekly address early Saturday during which they wished all Americans Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

“This is a such a wonderful time of year, it’s the time to honor the story of love and redemption that began 2,000 year ago, a time to see the world through a child’s eyes and rediscover the magic all around us, and a time to give thanks for the gift that blesses every single day,” Michelle Obama, sitting beside the president, said in the weekly radio and Internet address on Saturday morning.

“Our troops are coming home. And across America, military families are being reunited,” Obama stated. The address comes days after the U.S. forces’ complete withdrawal from Iraq, which formally ended a more than eight-year war in which nearly 4,500 American soldiers lost their lives along with tens of thousands of Iraqis.

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“Let’s take a moment to give thanks for their service, for their families’ service, for our veterans’ service,” the president said. “And let’s say a prayer for all our troops standing post all over the world, especially our brave men and women in Afghanistan who are serving, even as we speak, in harm’s way to protect the freedoms and security we hold dear.”

“Our veterans, troops, and military families sacrifice so much for us,” Michelle Obama said. “So this holiday season, let’s make sure that all of them know just how much we appreciate everything they do.”

Obama also mentioned his Christian faith during the brief address.

Christmas, he said, “reminds us that part of what it means to love God is to love one another, to be our brother’s keeper and our sister’s keeper. But that belief is not just at the center of our Christian faith, it’s shared by Americans of all faiths and backgrounds. It’s why so many of us, every year, volunteer our time to help those most in need; especially our hungry and our homeless.”

“So whatever you believe, wherever you’re from, let’s remember the spirit of service that connects us all this season – as Americans. Each of us can do our part to serve our communities and our country, not just today, but every day.”

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