A statement from President Obama:
Today, Michelle and I join our fellow Christians across the country and around the world in marking Ash Wednesday. Lent is a season of sacrifice and preparation, repentance and renewal. Through reflection on the teachings that guide us, we reaffirm our commitment to God and one another — and we remember those who are suffering, including those persecuted for their faith. We join millions in deepening our faith as we look toward the Easter celebration.
Meanwhile, today’s greeting from Secretary of State John Kerry, getting ahead of the occasion:
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to express my wishes of good health, good fortune, and happiness to those around the world celebrating the Lunar New Year on February 19.
As many throughout the Asia-Pacific and in the United States gather with family, let us also remember the closeness we share as global citizens. We can feel proud of the bonds we have strengthened as Pacific nations, and the prosperity and mutual understanding we have jointly achieved. Let us also look forward to the great possibilities of the New Year. As we continue to advance shared cultural understanding, economic cooperation, regional security, and educational partnerships, we will open doors to mutually beneficial opportunities. Let us build on the momentum of our agreements concerning environmental protection, health improvement, and poverty reduction to better the lives not just of individual countries, but the entire world.
President Obama and I look forward to the year ahead. There will be great challenges, but there will also be great achievements as we work together toward common goals. We wish you a festive Lunar New Year celebration, and success and prosperity in the days to come.