Biden watches the sunrise and attends the church to open in USVI in 2023

CHRISTIANSTED – President Joe Biden opened the first day of the New Year by watching the first sunrise and attending Mass at a Roman Catholic church in the US Virgin Islands.

Biden prayed Sunday at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Christiansted, where he had attended services on his previous visits to the island of St. Croix.

When asked about New Year’s resolutions as he left the church, Biden replied, “Good year next year. Looking forward to something.” He gave a thumbs-up gesture.

Biden and his wife, First Lady Jill Biden, woke up at 6:30 a.m. to watch the sunrise from the secluded beach in front of their home in the Solitude Bay area of ​​St. Croix, White House officials said .

One of her holiday traditions while on the island was to gather with scores of residents at Point Udall, the island’s most easterly point, to watch the first sunrise of a new year. Biden, traveling with a heavy security presence, stayed away on Sunday.

He spent New Year’s Eve at the house owned by friends Bill and Connie Neville.

Before time was up in 2022, Biden and the First Lady wished their fellow Americans a Happy New Year during a taped appearance on Saturday’s ABC show Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.

When asked about his message for 2023, Biden said “optimism.”

“I’ve never been more optimistic about America in my entire career. And you know, the interesting thing is that we’ve been through so many, so many difficulties, the pandemic, a whole bunch of things. Look at how the American people fought back and stood up. There is nothing that can stop them. We are the most unique country in the world, we are a product of opportunity. That’s what we believe in, and so I just think, I’m really optimistic.”

The first lady encouraged people to “commit to an act of kindness” and “take care of each other and, most importantly, your health this year.”

“Get this COVID vaccine and get vaccinated against the flu,” she said.

Biden has kept a relatively low profile since arriving on St. Croix after dark last Tuesday.

His first public appearance came on Friday when he and his grandson Hunter, 16, played golf at The Buccaneer Hotel and Golf Resort in Christiansted.

Later Friday, the Bidens taped the gig with Seacrest and then took Hunter and his sister Natalie, 18, to dinner at one of the island’s top restaurants.

Biden was scheduled to return to the White House on Monday.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission. Biden watches the sunrise and attends the church to open in USVI in 2023

Sarah Y. Kim

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