The menorah was lit by Rabbi Larry Bazer, an Afghanistan war veteran. Obama noted that Bazer had been deployed in Kabul, Afghanistan, as a military chaplain over the last Hanukkah, joking he had turned down an invitation to the White House ceremony.
"We don't get that very often," Obama said. "Usually when we invite people they come."
Entertainment for the event was provided by the West Point Jewish Chapel Cadet Choir and the U.S. Marine Chamber Orchestra.