The First Family appeared to be in a festive mood Thursday as they led the lighting of the National Christmas Tree, but they also paused in a moment of silence for victims of Wednesday’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., Reuters reports.
President Barack Obama was accompanied at the celebration at President’s Park by First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha.
The event included performances by pop singer Aloe Blacc and rock band Fall Out Boy, the report notes. Obama urged Americans to “summon the spirit of togetherness” this holiday season. Reuters writes:
“Now, this is, of course, the most wonderful time of the year. But 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,” Obama said in reference to the rampage that left 14 dead and 21 wounded.
“Their loss is our loss, too, for we’re all one American family. We look out for each other in good times, and in bad. And they should know that all of us care about them this holiday season,” he said.
Later, Michelle read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” with Miss Piggy to kick off the holiday season.