Harry S. Truman photo

Address Recorded for Broadcast on the Occasion of the Lighting of the National Community Christmas Tree on the White House Grounds

December 24, 1950

All over our country and in many other parts of the world, men, women, and children are preparing to celebrate the birthday of Christ.

Never before in our lives has a Christmas seemed so important. I am not thinking of turkey dinners and stacks of gifts. I mean the quiet, reverent celebration of the faith, hope, and love--born in a manger in Bethlehem.

Across all the continents of this world, peace-loving people today feel apprehension and loneliness and fear.

Many have forgotten the humble surroundings of the nativity and how, from a straw-littered stable, shone a light which for nearly 20 centuries has given men strength, comfort, and peace.

At this Christmastime we should renew our faith in God. We celebrate the hour in which God came to man. It is fitting that we should turn to Him.

Many of us are fortunate enough to celebrate Christmas at our own fireside.

But there are many others who are away from their homes and loved ones on this day. Thousands of our boys are on the cold and dreary battlefield of Korea.

But all of us--at home, at war, wherever we may be--are within reach of God's love and power. We all can pray. We all should pray.

We should ask the fulfillment of God's will. We should ask for courage, wisdom, for the quietness of soul which comes alone to them who place their lives in His hands.

We should pray for a peace which is the fruit of righteousness.

The Nation already is in the midst of a Crusade of Prayer. On the last Sunday of the old year, there will be special services devoted to a revival of faith.

I call upon all of you to enlist in this common cause. I call upon you no matter what your spiritual allegiance.

We are all joined in the fight against the tyranny of communism. Communism is godless. Democracy is the harvest of faith--faith in one's self, faith in one's neighbors, faith in God.

Democracy's most powerful weapon is not a gun, tank, or bomb. It is faith--faith in the brotherhood and dignity of man under God.

Let us pray at this Christmastime for the wisdom, the humility, and the courage to carry on in this faith.

Note: The address was recorded in Washington on December 22, prior to the President's departure for Independence, Mo. It was broadcast at 5:16 p.m. on December 24.

Harry S Truman, Address Recorded for Broadcast on the Occasion of the Lighting of the National Community Christmas Tree on the White House Grounds Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230623

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