WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — President Joe Biden, joined by first lady Jill Biden, delivered remarks on the tradition of Easter at the White House Monday afternoon.
Christianity’s most joyous feast day was celebrated across the nation with the faithful spaced apart in pews and singing choruses of “Hallelujah” through face coverings for a second time on Easter Sunday. From vast Roman Catholic cathedrals to Protestant churches, worshippers followed coronavirus precautions.
Like last year, the annual White House Easter Egg Roll had been canceled due to the pandemic. A tradition that dates back to 1878, children receive commemorative Easter eggs and search for tens of thousands of hard-boiled eggs on the South Lawn. The festivities are marked with a visit from the Easter bunny and entertainment from celebrity guests.
Wells Wood Turning and Finishing in Buckfield, Maine, did the honors this year, producing colorful, wooden eggs. The 2021 eggs feature a bunny wearing a mask on one side and the signatures of the Bidens on the other. The golden egg is unique, with an image of the president’s German shepherd dogs, Champ and Major.
Thousands of commemorative eggs are being donated to vaccination sites, community health care centers and hospitals, the White House said.
The Bidens return to the White House Monday morning after a weekend at Camp David presidential retreat.
Friday, President Biden expressed his condolences and ordered White House flags be lowered to half-mast in honor of Officer William “Billy” Evans, who was killed in an attack after a man rammed a car into a barricade outside the U.S. Capitol security checkpoint.
Evans and another officer were near a barricade on Constitution Avenue outside the Capitol when they were struck by a vehicle reportedly driven by 25-year-old Noah Green, who subsequently exited the vehicle and was shot by police who said he lunged at officers with a knife in hand. Green later died from his injuries.
Few people were at the Capitol, including members of Congress, with both the Senate and House of Representatives in recess for the Easter holiday.
Earlier on Friday, Biden welcomed data that showed the U.S. economy created the most jobs in seven months in March but warned Americans that the progress on the economy could be reversed if the coronavirus surges through the country again.
Nonfarm payrolls surged by 916,000 jobs last month, the biggest gain since last August. The jobs report comes as infections and deaths from COVID-19 are still rising in some states. Several states, including Florida and Texas, have rolled back mask mandates and other coronavirus protections, even as some health officials recommended continued vigilance.