tv National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony CSPAN December 25, 2015 6:40pm-7:02pm EST
miss piggy: but i heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight, merry christmas to all and to all a good night. [applause] mrs. obama: high five miss piggy. low five. way to go. >> please welcome the director of the national park service, jonathan jarvis. ♪ jonathan: thank you for joining us for one of the events that truly makes a holidays sparkle for visitors to our nations capital. lighting the christmas tree is a holiday tradition and it helps us kick off the celebration of the national park service is 100 anniversary which is coming in 2016. here at presidents park, and other national parks across the country, we are inviting everyone to come find your part.
if the national park visits are a regular tradition for your family or you have never visited a national park, we want all americans to discover a new national park experience. tonight it is my great honor to introduce to you someone very special to us in the national park service. is 94 years old and the oldest park ranger. [applause] she works at rosie the riveter historical park in richmond, california. she was part of the war effort in richmond and while she does not really think of herself as a rosy, her history is one that was written in the 1940's. in richmond. it is my pleasure to introduce a woman whose dedication for sharing a complete story has inspired so many. including me. please welcome betty. ♪ [applause]
betty: thank you, director jarvis. i was last in washington in 2009 for the presidential inauguration. in my breast pocket was a picture of my great grandmother, a woman born into slavery in 1846 in st. james parish louisiana. it is fitting that i return to washington tonight with my an area known as the -- firste, because this is a -- full civil moment. i have an opportunity to share my experience with the community outreach programs. i cannot wait to get back and
tell everyone about this most special one. in this season of hope and promise, reflection and celebration, it is my honor to present to you the president of the united states. barack obama. [applause] ♪ president obama: merry christmas, everybody. [applause] president obama: thank you betty for that introduction, for your extraordinary service as one of our park rangers, and for all of
your and your great-grandmother's contributions to this country. please give betty a round of applause. [applause] president obama: i want tips from betty on how i can look that good at 94. i also want to thank her boss, jonathan jarvis, and everybody from the national park service and the national park foundation for everything they do to protect and care for america's great outdoors. and for helping us find our park this year and every year. and thank you reese witherspoon. [applause] president obama: and each of tonight's outstanding performers. this is of course the most wonderful time of the year. we would be remiss not to take a moment to remember our fellow
americans whose hearts are heavy tonight, who grieve for loved ones, especially in san bernardino, california. their loss is our loss too, but we are all one american family. we look out for each other. in good times and in bad. they should know that all of us care about them this holiday season. they are in our thoughts, in our prayers, and we send them our love. now this is the 93rd time americans have gathered by the white house to light the national christmas tree and as always this tree is not alone. across america in living rooms and offices, churches and town squares, families and neighbors are gathering to decorate trees
of their own and get into the holiday spirit. it is a chance to come together and focus on what really matters, the simple gifts of family and friends. the wonder and hope in a child's eyes. and the spirit of giving and compassion that can help all of us find new meaning in the world around us. that is the message of the child whose birth we celebrate on christmas, a prince born in a stable that taught us that we should love our neighbors like ourselves. and we are our brothers keepers, our sisters keepers, and we should help the sick, welcome the stranger.
these of the lessons of jesus christ and that they are also the bedrock values of all things, values to be cherished, embraced, not only during the holidays, but to be practiced in our daily lives. during this holiday season let's come together as brothers and sisters around the humanity that we share. let's reach out to those who can use a hand and some of the spirit of togetherness that has always helped to keep america as a shining example to the world. and let's protect that idea. especially those stationed far from home for the holidays. our men and women in uniform and the families that sacrifice so much for us, it is because of them that we cancel great freely, we can worship as we please, that we can come together on a night like this,
strong and united and free. so, on behalf of greenmount -- our family, happy holidays to all of you and god bless you all and may god bless the united states of america. thank you very much. [applause] >> c-span takes you on the road to the white house and into the classroom. student camur documentary contest asks students to tell us what issues they want to hear from the presidential candidates. follow c-span's road to the white house coverage and get all the details about our student cam contrast -- contest at c-span.org. year's christmas message, queen elizabeth focused on the sacrifice of soldiers serving overseas.
queen elizabeth: at this time of year, few sights devote more feelings of cheer and goodwill than a twinkling lights of a christmas tree. the popularity of a tree at christmas is due in part to my great, great grandparents, queen victoria and prince albert. after this touching picture was published, many families wanted a christmas tree of their own, and a custom soon spread. in 1949, i spent christmas as a newly married naval wife. we have returned to that island over the years, including last month, for a meeting of commonwealth leaders. this year, i met another group of leaders, the queens young leaders, and inspirational group, each of them a symbol of hope in their own commonwealth communities.
gathering around the tree gives us a chance to think about the year ahead. i am looking forward to a busy 2016, though i have been warned, i may have happy birthdays unto -- son to me more than once or twice. it also allows us to reflect on the year that has passed. as we think of those who are far away or no longer with us. many people say the first christmas after losing a loved one is particularly hard. but it is also a time to remember all that we have to be think of for. it is true that the world has had to confront moments of darkness this year, but the gospel of john contains a verse of great hope, often read at christmas carols services. the light shines in the
darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. one cause for thankfulness this summer was marking 70 years since the end of the second world war. on vj day, we honor the remaining veterans of that terrible, and in the far east, as well as remembering the thousands who never returned. the procession from horse guards eyrade to westminster abby must've been one of the slowest ever because so many people wanted to say thank you to them. at the end of that war, the people of oslo began sending an annual gift of a christmas tree to trafalgar square. it has 500 light bulbs and is enjoyed not just by christians, but by people of all faiths and of none. at the very top sits a bright star to represent the star of bethlehem.
the custom of topping a tree also goes back to prince albert's time. for his family's tree, he chose an angel, helping to remind us that the focus of the christmas story is on one particular family. for joseph and mary, the circumstances of jesus's birth in a stable were far from ideal. but worse was to come as the family was forced to flee the country. it is no prize that such a human story still captures our imagination and continues to inspire all of us who are christians the world over. despite being displaced and persecuted throughout his short life, christ's unchanging message was not one of revenge or violence, but simply that we should love one another. although it is not an easy
message to follow, we should not be discouraged. rather, it inspires us to try harder, to be thankful for the people that bring love and happiness into our own lives, and to look for ways of spreading that love to others whenever and wherever we can. one of the joys of living a long life is watching one's children, then grandchildren, then great-grandchildren help decorate the christmas tree. this year, my family has a new member to join in the fun. the customary decorations have changed little in the years since that picture of victoria and albert street first appeared. of course, electric lights have replaced the candles. there is an old saying, that it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.
heaven -- fit us for heaven e ♪live with thee ther next "washington journal" peter ackerman on efforts to open up presidential debates to third-party candidates. your and tax preparation advice from kiplinger editorial director. and your phone calls, tweets, and facebook comments. live at 7:00 eastern on c-span. >> three days of future programming this holiday weekend on c-span. this evening at 7:00 eastern, congressional republican leaders honoring dick cheney at the capital with the unveiling of a
marble bust in emancipation hall. >> when the vice president had his critics going off the deep end, as they often did, he asked his wife, does it bug you when people refer to me as darth vader? she said, no, it humanizes you. [laughter] >> saturday night at 8:00 30 eastern, an in-depth look at policing in minority communities. speakers include former police officer and washington police chief cathy lanier. >> most people get offensive -- defensive if they feel you are being offensive. being respectful in encounters and requests, if it is not a crisis or dangerous situation, request versus demand. those things changed the dynamics. >> sunday afternoon at 2:00, race in the criminal justice system with white house senior adviser valerie jarrett and others.
then portions of this year's washington ideas festival. speakers include mark warner, al gore, and author anne-marie slaughter. >> we have got to banish the word he is helping. at home. helping is not actually taking the burden off you. you are still figuring out what needs to be done and you are asking him to help. he is not the agent, he is the assistant. if we are going to get to where we need to go, men have to be lead parents or fully equal coparents. >> for a complete schedule, go to www.c-span.org. >> a bust of former vice president dick cheney was placed in the capital joining other similar statues honoring vice presidents for their role as president of the senate. former president george to be bush, vice president joe biden,