WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is noting that it's not just the nation's birthday, it's his daughter Malia's, too.

At a sun-splashed Independence Day barbeque on the White House South Lawn, the president and first lady Michele Obama thanked members of the military for their service to the nation. The Declaration of Independence was adopted 237 years ago on July 4, 1776. Malia Obama turned 15 on Thursday.

The Obamas spoke to the crowd and then spent about 10 minutes shaking hands and posing for pictures with babies dressed in red, white and blue ahead of evening fireworks on the National Mall.

The USO sponsored the event and expected about 1,200 military personnel and their families to attend. Also there were members of Obama's administration and their families.

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  • First lady Michelle Obama, left, with members of the military wave during a Fourth of July celebration with military members and their families, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

  • President Barack Obama, holds a baby as he and first lady Michelle Obama, not in picture, greets members of the military and their families during a Fourth of July celebration on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

  • Robin Muthg (2R) and Bob Phillips (R) pose while waiting with other volunteers on the South Lawn of the White House ON July 4, 2013 in Washington, DC. US President Barack Obama and the first family will host members of the US armed services and their families to celebrate the 237th anniversary of the United States's independence from the British Empire. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • The White House is adorned in preparation for the a Fourth of July celebration on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 4, 2013, hosted by President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

  • The White House is adorned in preparation for the a Fourth of July celebration on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 4, 2013, hosted by President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

  • First lady Michelle Obama, right, and President Barack Obama, obscured, greet members of the military and their families during a Fourth of July celebration on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

  • First lady Michelle Obama, from right, and President Barack Obama, greet members of the military and their families during a Fourth of July celebration on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

  • President Barack Obama, right, and first lady Michelle Obama walk down the South Portico steps during a Fourth of July celebration with members of the military and their families on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

  • Yale Scott, who worked for the White House visitor center shows his spirit, as he attends a Fourth of July celebration on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 4, 2013, hosted by President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

  • President Barack Obama, back center, greets members of the military and their families during a Fourth of July celebration on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

  • President Barack Obama, back right, greets members of the military and their families during a Fourth of July celebration on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

  • US President Barack Obama and US first lady Michelle Obama walk to the South Lawn of the White House July 4, 2013 in Washington, DC. US President Barack Obama and the first family will host members of the US armed services and their families to celebrate the 237th anniversary of the United States's independence from the British Empire. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • President Barack Obama, third from right, with first lady Michelle Obama, second from left, and members of the military, speaks during a Fourth of July celebration on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

  • President Barack Obama, right, and first lady Michelle Obama, second from left, give their applause during a Fourth of July celebration on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

  • US President Barack Obama speaks from a balcony above the Marine Band on the South Lawn of the White House July 4, 2013 in Washington, DC. US President Barack Obama and the first family will host members of the US armed services and their families to celebrate the 237th anniversary of the United States's independence from the British Empire. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Guests listen while US President Barack Obama speaks on the South Lawn of the White House July 4, 2013 in Washington, DC. US President Barack Obama and the first family will host members of the US armed services and their families to celebrate the 237th anniversary of the United States's independence from the British Empire. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 04: The South Lawn of the White House is prepared for a barbeque hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama on July 4, 2013 in Washington, DC. The president and first lady are hosting members of the military and their families in commemoration of Independence Day. (Photo by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)

  • WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 04: U.S. President Barack Obama flashes a thumbs-up to a well wisher as he works a rope line following his making remarks as he and first lady Michelle Obama during a Fourth of July barbecue hosted by he and first lady Michelle Obama for military heroes and their families on the South Lawn of the White House on July 4, 2013 in Washington, DC. The president and first lady are hosting members of the military and their families in commemoration of Independence Day. (Photo by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)

  • WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 04: An unidentified young girl sits on her father's shoulders as they listen to U.S. President Barack Obama's remarks as he and first lady Michelle Obama host a Fourth of July barbecue for military heroes and their families on the South Lawn of the White House on July 4, 2013 in Washington, DC. The president and first lady are hosting members of the military and their families in commemoration of Independence Day. (Photo by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)

  • People wait for the arrival of US President Barack Obama on the South Lawn of the White House July 4, 2013 in Washington, DC. US President Barack Obama and the first family will host members of the US armed services and their families to celebrate the 237th anniversary of the United States's independence from the British Empire. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • People visit the South Lawn of the White House July 4, 2013 in Washington, DC. US President Barack Obama and the first family will host members of the US armed services and their families to celebrate the 237th anniversary of the United States's independence from the British Empire. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Yale Scott (L), a former member of the White House Visitors Office, waits for US President Barack Obama to speak on the South Lawn of the White House July 4, 2013 in Washington, DC. US President Barack Obama and the first family will host members of the US armed services and their families to celebrate the 237th anniversary of the United States's independence from the British Empire. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • People play on the South Lawn of the White House July 4, 2013 in Washington, DC. US President Barack Obama and the first family will host members of the US armed services and their families to celebrate the 237th anniversary of the United States's independence from the British Empire. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Guests gather on the South Lawn of the White House July 4, 2013 in Washington, DC. US President Barack Obama and the first family will host members of the US armed services and their families to celebrate the 237th anniversary of the United States's independence from the British Empire. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A Marine and other guests stand on the South Lawn of the White House July 4, 2013 in Washington, DC. US President Barack Obama and the first family will host members of the US armed services and their families to celebrate the 237th anniversary of the United States's independence from the British Empire. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)