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The Obamas Send Annual Kwanzaa Greetings From Sunny Hawaii

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On Thursday, President Obama and First Lady Michelle issued their annual Kwanzaa greetings in a statement released by the White House. The week-long African-American cultural celebration begins Thursday night. In their statement, the Obamas highlighted the seven principles of the celebration, adding that these are values and principles shared by all Americans, not just those in the African-American community. Extending his "warmest wishes," the Obamas added, "we reflect on the blessings of the past year and commit to building a brighter future for all our children." The full text of their Kwanzaa greeting is below:

Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to families across the country celebrating Kwanzaa this holiday season. Today begins a week-long celebration of African-American heritage and culture through family and community festivities. Kwanzaa’s seven principles – unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith– are also shared values that bind us as Americans. And in the spirit of the season, we reflect on the blessings of the past year and commit to building a brighter future for all our children. As families, friends, and neighbors come together today to light the Kinara, our family sends our best wishes for a happy and healthy new year.
Brendan Smialowski/Getty

The Obama family is on a 16-day vacation in Honolulu, Hawaii for annual trip to President Obama's home state over the Christmas holiday. The Obamas paid troops a Christmas Day visit at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay on Friday. Their holiday tribute has become an annual Christmas Day tradition for the Obamas.

Images: Brendan Smialowski/Getty (2)