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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 10, 2000
                        REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
                      AT "CHRISTMAS IN WASHINGTON"

                      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 millennium.

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 Christmas.

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