The National Christmas Tree is usually lite on 4 December and this year was no exception as President Obama joined hundreds of people for the annual lighting ceremony. Prior to lighting the tree, our President said the national tree is a “symbol of hope and holiday spirit.” He also urged Americans to remember members of the US military serving overseas, as well as their families. Every President since Franklin D. Roosevelt has made formal remarks during the lighting ceremony.
This year’s ceremony marked the 92nd annual lighting of the National Christmas Tree. The National Park Service says the tradition was started by President Calvin Coolidge in 1923. Our National Christmas Tree over the years has been both a cut tree and live trees. Since 1973 a living tree has been used but has been replaced several times since then for a variety of reasons. For example, the National Christmas Tree’s trunk snapped in a windstorm, which contained gusts of up to 50 mph, in February 2011. The current tree was planted in October 2012 and is a Colorado Blue Spruce from Virginia.
Since 1954, the event has marked the start of month-long festivities known as the “Pageant of Peace”. Smaller decorated trees representing the US states, territories and the District of Columbia surround the National Christmas Tree; this is known as the “Pathway to Peace”. Santa’s Workshop, the National Menorah, and nightly entertainment are also part of the experience of seeing the National Christmas Tree.
General Electric has lite the National Christmas Tree since 1962. This year’s tree design features a very traditional red, green and white color scheme and uses the latest LED holiday lighting products. The addition of sparkle red mesh garland enhances the nighttime and daytime appearance. This is the 6th consecutive year that LED lights have been used to light the National Christmas Tree.
Bill Kennedy is a freelance writer and an experienced business development consultant. When he isn’t dabbling in writing, William A. Kennedy is the President and CEO of Kennedy Technical Consulting Services, LLC, which is headquartered in Arlington, VA. William Kennedy is also an aspiring endurance athlete and avid world traveler.
The photo is courtesy of the http://thenationaltree.org website.