WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi, joined by the Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers, members of the Wyoming congressional delegation, former Congressman and President of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society Ronald Sarasin, Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Jay Jensen, and Daniel Sitter, a sixth grader from Fairview, Wyoming, lit the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree during a ceremony this evening. This year's tree, a 67-foot Engelmann spruce, came from Wyoming's Bridger-Teton National Forest. As part of the Capitol's continuing commitment to save energy, strands of energy-efficient LED lights were used to decorate the tree. Below are the Speaker's remarks
"What an honor it is to be here with all of you and with Daniel, to be here with Senator Barrasso, Senator Enzi, Congresswoman Lummis. I would like to recognize Jay Jensen, Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, who you have heard from. And the United States Navy Band—thank you for entertaining us this evening. And what a treat for all of us to see the All-City Children's Chorus from Cheyenne, Wyoming—thank you. You honor us with your presence and entertain us with your music. It is a joy for us to have you at the Capitol.
"To the people of Wyoming, thank you for this gift to the nation: the Capitol Christmas tree. I accept it for the Capitol, for Congressman Steny Hoyer, the Majority Leader from the House, and of course for the Senators and Congresswoman, and for other Members of the Senate and the House as well.
"Gathered on the Speaker's balcony are men and women in uniform from Walter Reed Hospital and members of their families. Let's give them a wonderful expression of appreciation. [Applause.] I told them that you would appreciate their presence. This is a highlight of our year, and the fact that the tree is from Wyoming is just such joy.
"Through the gift and the lighting of this magnificent tree and its ornaments, we are showcasing the beauty of the Equality State for the entire nation to see.
"Last month, as has been mentioned, in the heart of the Bridger-Teton National Forest, crowds from Jackson came together to catch the first glimpse of this tree. They snapped photos and took videos. Parents brought their children to see the Capitol Christmas tree as it began its journey to 22 cities within Wyoming—22 cities within Wyoming, and towns—before heading across the country.
"The entire state produced more than thousands, as the Senators have said, thousands of ornaments. The tree even has its own memorabilia—mugs and magnets, pins and patches, T-shirts and tote bags that you will all want to have.
"It is a source of pride for Wyoming. It is a source of joy for the United States Congress and for all Americans.
"Now Daniel has been mentioned, but his sister Maya—how old is she? Maya is how old? She's 13—and she is here with him as well. Daniel is the person that we are honored, all of us, to share a lighting of this tree with. And as we are honored by this gift from the state of Wyoming, we are honored by each day, again, by the service of our men and women in uniform.
"With the help of Daniel Sitter, a sixth grader from Fairview, Wyoming, we are now going to light the tree. But I want these children to come even closer in front of the tree. You have to be in the picture. This could be on TV. You've come this long way, why have a few steps separate you from being in front of the tree?
"Ok, Daniel. Here you go. You are just going to push that up." [Daniel pushes button and tree lights go on.]
SOURCE Office of the Speaker of the House