Clinton lauds peace, prosperity at Christmas concert
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Clinton Sunday evening marked his final holiday season as president, taking his family to an annual Christmas concert and expressing gratitude for America's "unprecedented peace and prosperity."
Watch Clinton deliver his speech and light the tree
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The president, accompanied by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and daughter, Chelsea, attended the 19th "Christmas in Washington" concert at the National Building Museum.
"Our family looks forward to this 'Christmas in Washington' every year," the president said. "This is our last one here. Also, it's the first Christmas of the new millennium," he added. "Tonight I am grateful that we can celebrate an America blessed with unprecedented peace and prosperity."
The concert was sponsored by Time Warner and benefited the Children's National Medical Center. Hosting the event was actress Sarah Michelle Gellar. Performers included Motown soul singer Brian McKnight, pop singer Jessica Simpson, Irish singing family The Corrs, Latin singer Marc Anthony, and rock-and-roll legend Chuck Berry.
Attendees were also treated, through a taped video presentation, to a tour of the White House conducted by Mrs. Clinton that showcased the White House's Christmas decor, including a manger scene, a tree decorated with memorabilia from the Clintons' eight years in the White House, and a gingerbread house.
The evergreen garland-bedecked National Building Museum hosted several hundred attendees and was resplendent with tiny white lights, red bows, and a stage set with four simulated lead-glass bay windows with wreaths and bows.
In a reference to the youthful participants in the concert, Clinton observed that they are part of a "world growing increasingly more diverse," and also that if the young are our guide, it will be more unified. The president also urged the audience to "be grateful for our good fortunes and to rededicate ourselves to lessons of love and reconciliation taught by a child in Bethlehem." Because this concert was for the benefit of the Children's National Medical Center, Clinton stressed the importance of remembering "the true meaning of the holidays, the spirit of giving." He praised the work that the center has done for 130 years, noting that "in healing children, they remind us that every one of our children is a miracle."
Sunday's program will be presented by Turner Network Television on Sunday, December 17th at 8 p.m. ET.
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