How The Obamas Celebrated Christmas in Hawaii –

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(HONOLULU) — Thursday afternoon, the Obamas made the quick ride over to Marine Corps Base Hawaii to say thank you to military families. The President has made this trip an annual event and he was joined by Mrs. Obama.

“So on a day when we celebrate the Prince of Peace and many of us count our blessings, one of the greatest blessings we have is the extraordinary dedication and sacrifices you all make,” he told the troops. “We could not be more thankful. I know I speak for everyone in the entire country when I say, we salute you.”

Obama pointed out that the war in Afghanistan is due to come to a close by year’s end.

“We’ve been in continuous war now for over 13 years. Next week we will be ending our combat mission in Afghanistan. Because of the extraordinary service of the men and women in the Armed Forces, Afghanistan has a chance to rebuild its own country. We are safer. It’s not going to be a source of terrorist attacks again. And we still have some very difficult missions around the world, including in Iraq. We still have folks in Afghanistan helping the Afghan security forces. We have people helping to deal with Ebola in Africa and obviously we have folks stationed all around the world. But the world is better, it’s safer, it’s more peaceful, It’s more prosperous and our homeland is protected because of you and the sacrifices each and every day,” he said.

Before the Obamas went to the base, the family spent about three hours out at the Bellows Air Force Station for a Christmas beach day.

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