WASHINGTON, DC – The 2014 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, an 88-foot tall white spruce from Minnesota’s Chippewa National Forest, was lit tonight during a ceremony on the building’s West Front. Helping House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) do the honors was 10-year old Aaron Urban from Linthicum, Maryland. Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers served as master of ceremonies.
Boehner delivered the following remarks prior to the lighting of the tree, as prepared for delivery:
“Thank you, Stephen, and let me thank everyone involved in making this possible. From the Architect’s team, to the Forest Service, to the people of Minnesota and the students who made decorations, this tree truly embodies the Christmas spirit.
“Tonight, just as our great Dome is in a season of restoration, we are here to begin one of our own. The scene was much humbler that first Christmas – just a group of shepherds keeping watch on a quiet night. But it is to these simple men that the angel suddenly appears, announcing that ‘unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.’
“The shepherds don’t just rejoice at this gift, they go to catch a glimpse of it for themselves. ‘Let us now go to Bethlehem,’ they say to one another, ‘and see this thing which is come to pass.’ And once they get there, they share these good tidings with the world.
“That’s what makes Christmas so magical. It’s a time to rediscover for ourselves the glory of God’s love, to see with fresh eyes the beauty of simple things and traditions, and to rekindle the hope of peace and goodwill to all – just as the lights on the tree shine together to overcome the darkness.
“So on behalf of my family and the people’s House, I wish a ‘happy Christmas to all and to all a good night.’
“We’ve now reached the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the chance to go back inside. To help us light the tree this year, we have a special guest from just up the road in Maryland. He and his family are here with the help of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He’ll be spending Christmas in New York City, so we asked him to come down here to help us kick off the holiday season in our nation’s capital. Please join me in giving a warm welcome to Aaron Urban.”
NOTE: Visit Speaker.gov to learn more about Aaron Urban’s Christmas wish.