US President Barack Obama and his family went to church on a Marines Base in Hawaii to celebrate Christmas Day, during his vacation in his native state of Hawaii.
Obama, his wife Michelle and daughters Malia, 13, and Sasha, 10, went to the chapel at Kaneohe Marine base after singing carols and opening their presents at the vacation residence they are renting.
The White House said that Obama also made 10 telephone calls to service members from the Marines, Air Force, Navy and US Army who are serving overseas, on Christmas Eve.
In a Christmas message, the president and his wife this week thanked all US troops and their families for their service to the United States.
“Our troops are coming home. And across America, military families are being reunited,” the president said in his weekly radio and Internet address.
“Let’s say a prayer for all our troops standing post all over the world, especially our brave men and women in Afghanistan who are serving, even as we speak, in harm’s way to protect the freedoms and security we hold dear,” Obama added.
The first lady reminded listeners that Christmas was a time to give thanks.
“Our veterans, troops, and military families sacrifice so much for us,” Michelle Obama said. “So this holiday season, let’s make sure that all of them know just how much we appreciate everything they do.”
US forces completed their withdrawal from Iraq this month, formally ending their mission in the country after a near nine-year war.