Obama lights National Christmas tree with family in Washington

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 07, 2012 04:40 hrs

US President Barack Obama paid tribute to Superstorm Sandy victims as he and his family lit the US National Christmas tree in Washington.

Obama and his family switched on the lights of a new tree, on the Ellipse just outside the White House grounds, which replaced last year's fir, which died after only one year in the role.

"It was planted just days before Hurricane Sandy and it made it through the storm in once piece. We know that some of our neighbours to the north saw a more ruthless and destructive Sandy," The Telegraph quoted Obama, as saying.

According to the paper, the October 29 storm flooded the subway train system in New York, damaging tens of thousands of houses on the northeastern US coast and knocked out electricity across a wide area and closed stores and businesses. More than 110 people were killed due to the calamity.

Obama was joined at the ceremony by his wife Michelle and daughters Malia, 14 and Sasha, 11, for ceremony, which included a performance by James Taylor, the paper said.

Presidents traditionally turn on the lights on the National Christmas Tree, in a ceremony dating back to 1923, it added. (ANI)

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