WASHINGTON, D.C. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- The World Series champion Boston Red Sox were honored by President Barack Obama at the White House Tuesday.
The president joked that he did not recognize the Red Sox without their signature playoff beards.
"But beards or no beards, it is an honor to welcome the 2013 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox to the White House," said President Obama.
President Obama went on to say how much the Sox winning the 2013 World Series meant to the nation after the Boston Marathon bombings.
"Obviously, all the wins were sweet for Red Sox fans, but I think for the nation as a whole there was something about this particular squad that was special and will go down in history," said the president. "Not just not just because they went from worst to first, but because they symbolized the grit and the resilience of America's -- one of America's iconic cities during one of its most difficult moments."
Obama went on to recognize former Boston Mayor Tom Menino, who attended the event alongside his wife. The president described the former mayor as someone he considers "one of the finest public servants that America has known." He also recognized MBTA Transit Police Officer Richard Donohue, who was also in the crowd. Donohue was injured during a shootout with the alleged Boston Marathon bombers in the days after the April 2013 attacks.
The president extended his condolences to the loved ones of two Boston firefighters who died last week while battling a 9-alarm blaze in Boston's Back Bay.
"Today, our hearts are in Boston again," said Obama. "We've got the families of firefighters Michael Kennedy and Lieutenant Edward Walsh, who gave their lives protecting others from a massive blaze last week. And their sacrifice, like the sacrifice of those made last year, remind us of the selfless courage of everyday heroes who put their lives on the line to help others. The first responders, the brave citizens, the resolute victims of these tragedies -- they're all Boston Strong. And ultimately, that's what this team played for last season, and every man behind me did his part to keep the team rolling."
Red Sox slugger David Ortiz finished off the ceremony by handing the president his own Red Sox jersey, including his last name and the number 44. The crowd erupted with laughter after Ortiz pulled out his phone and took a "selfie" with the president.
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