U.S. President George Bush says the United States is a prayerful nation that celebrates its freedoms, including the right to pray in public and have diverse faiths.

Mr. Bush made the remark at a White House event to mark the 57th annual National Day of Prayer, which is observed the first Thursday of May.

During the ceremony, the president said he has learned that even in the midst of tragedy a person can find comfort in prayer.

The National Day of Prayer was created in 1952 and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.