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President Bush, First Lady  Light National Christmas Tree - 2003-12-05

President Bush has officially ushered in the Christmas season in Washington, D.C. He presided at the lighting of the national Christmas tree.

You can see the tree from the south lawn of the White House - a stories-high evergreen that fills the winter night with a warm glow.

It is a symbol of the holiday season in the nation's capital. And in keeping with tradition, the president and first lady, helped by local children, flipped the switch that turned on the lights.

There was singing and story telling at the foot of the tree, another tradition that will continue through Christmas. The president asked the crowd to remember American soldiers serving far from home. "Our people in uniform can know that their families miss them and love them, that millions are praying for them," he said.

Mr. Bush made a surprise trip to Baghdad to see the troops during last week's Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. He plans to usher in Christmas in Washington.