2009 Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Uploaded by usda on 10.12.2009

(Band performs "Jingle Bells")
(Apache drum chant)
Sherman: On behalf of Secretary of Agriculture
Tom Vilsack, we would like to extend warm
holiday wishes to all of you.
This Capitol Christmas Tree comes from the
Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest,
as a gift from the people of Arizona.
To bring this tree to you, volunteers have donated
literally thousands of hours, and businesses
and other partners have made many generous donations.
This tree is a tribute to a great conservationist,
Aldo Leopold.
Aldo Leopold is known as the father of wildlife management.
He began his career on the same forest that produced
this tree, a hundred years ago in 1909.
So, we dedicate this tree in his honor.McCain: This
occasion marks the first time that Arizona has
supplied a tree to the nation's capitol since the
Forest Service began the tradition in 1971.
Now, initially we offered a Saguaro cactus,
but the Architect of the Capitol cordially declined.
This magnificent, 70-year old, 65-foot
Blue Spruce standing before us was
harvested from the Apache-Sitgreaves National
Forest near the city of Show Low,
the town of Springerville and the White Mountain
Apache Indian r eservations.
The tree is adorned with 6,000 ornaments,
hand crafted by Arizona school children.
And assisting the Speaker in lighting the tree is
Kaitlyn Ferencik, a seventh grade student from
Canyon Ridge school in Surprise, Arizona.
And of course we're always grateful to have the
President's own Marine Corps band here with us.
Could we thank them for being out on this cold
night, we thank you.
Pelosi: Today when Kaitlyn was interviewed by the
press, she said she wanted to be Speaker of the House.
So, what a coincidence - here we are,
a once and future Speaker of the House.
I'm so delighted.
As has been mentioned, Kaitlyn is a seventh
grader from Surprise, Arizona.
She and I will now have the privilege of lighting
this tree.
OK, Kaitlyn, here we go. You do it.
(applause) It worked!
(Band plays "O Christmas Tree")