Remarks by the President at Christmas In Washington (12/10/00)

              Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release                  December 10, 2000


               The National Building Museum
                    Washington, D.C.

7:27 p.m. EST

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  First, I would like to thank my
good friend Gerald Levin, George and Michael Stevens.  Thank you, Sarah
Michelle Gellar.  I thank The Corrs for what they said about the work we've
tried to do for peace in Ireland.

     Thank you, Billy Gilman.  I think you've got a future.  (Laughter.)
Thank you, Brian McKnight, Jessica Simpson, Marc Anthony and my old friend,
Chuck Berry.

     Our family looks forward to this Christmas in Washington every year.
But tonight, as many have noted, it's more special than ever to us, because
it's our last one here.  It also is the first Christmas of the new

     Tonight, I am grateful that we can celebrate an America blessed with
unprecedented peace and prosperity; a nation that, as we see when we look
at all of these young people who sang for us tonight, is growing
increasingly more diverse, and yet, at least if the young are our guide,
increasingly more united as one community.

     So this is a time for us to be grateful for our good fortune, and to
rededicate ourselves to the lessons of love and reconciliation taught by a
child born in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago.  As people all around the world
gather this season to decorate trees and to light menorahs, we should
remember the true meaning of the holidays: the spirit of giving.  A gift
was given to us, and we should in turn give -- to bring a little light into
every child's life; to give a little love and laughter and hope to those
who don't have it.

     That's really what Christmas is all about, and what this celebration,
and the work of the Children's National Medical Center, has been about.
They've been at it for 130 years.  In healing children, they remind us that
every one of our children is a miracle.

     As we rejoice in their lives, let's also take time tonight, when we
look at the Navy Glee Club, to remember our men and women in uniform, and
all those around the world working for peace who will not be home this

     Finally, let me just thank all of you, and the American people, for
giving Hillary, Chelsea and me this incredible opportunity to share this
joyous season and seven previous ones with you in the White House.

     Thank you.  God bless you.  Merry Christmas.

                          END             7:35 p.m. EST

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