Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined members of the California Congressional delegation, Architect of the Capitol Brett Blanton and U.S. Forest Service Chief Randy Moore to light the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:
Speaker Pelosi. Good evening everyone. Let us thank Pierce Pearson for that lovely, lovely rendition, his beautiful performance and wishing us all a Merry Christmas. And I salute the United States Army Band ‘Pershing’s Own’ Brass [Quintet], who blessed us tonight with their warm, beautiful music. Thank you again.
As Speaker of the House, it is my honor to welcome Americans from across the country – visually, virtually and in person – to the annual lighting of the Capitol Christmas Tree. And as a proud Californian, it is especially exciting that this 84-foot tree, white fir, hails from California’s Six Rivers National Forest. You’ve heard that about four, five or six times already this evening. And it is pretty – it’s a source of pride for us.
Let us thank the Architect of the Capitol Brett Blanton, the U.S. Forest Service Chief Randy Moore for making this possible for us. And I join my colleagues in thanking all who made this possible: those who selected and chopped down the tree, those who transported it here, around California and across the country, those who decorated the tree, the children who made the decorations, all who made this glorious occasion possible. Thank you, Architect Blanton and Forest Chief Moore. Thank you so much. Let’s thank them. That’s an applause line.
For nearly six day – decades, the Capitol Christmas Tree has stood on the West Front Lawn bringing Americans together during the holiday season. In war time and in peace, in tribulation and triumph, the Christmas Tree has offered a sense of hope and resilience to the nation.
As we thank our men and women in uniform then and now and always, this tree is our symbol of hope. That – it’s earned the endless nickname ‘The People’s Tree,’ a testament to its special ability to unite us in comfort and joy, no matter who we are or where we are from.
And that spirit inspires us tonight as we continue to battle the pandemic. So, let us give thanks for the many blessings which God has bestowed upon us in which we rejoice this holiday season, especially a miracle vaccine, the miracle vaccines that will allow us to safely be with loved ones.
As we gaze upon this tree let us recall the theme of this year ceremony: ‘Six Rivers, Many Peoples, One Tree.’
Indeed, this tree’s roots are in Six Rivers – home, again, to beautiful natural and cultural diversity. Represent – the tree itself is represented by Jared Huffman. The forest is shared by Jared Huffman and our dear colleague, Mr. LaMalfa. So, this is a bipartisan tree, a nonpartisan tree – and isn’t it perfectly symmetrical? Isn’t it perfectly symmetrical?
It is, again – the tree’s roots are in Six Rivers, the home to beautiful natural and cultural diversity. In its journey here, it touched the lives of countless communities across the nation. And today, Americans from across the as nation have gathered to bask in its light when it comes shortly.
And, as we gather here tonight, we remember our nation’s greatest strength: our unity. And that each time our great nation has been tested, we have always been able to meet any moment and conquer any challenge – together.
I’m so honored to be here with our distinguished Leader, Mr. McCarthy, Mr. – all of our colleagues, Mr. LaMalfa, Mr. Huffman, Ms. Lofgren, our dear Senator Dianne Feinstein who was with us this evening and those who have entertained us tonight.
And our VIP tonight, our very important person, is Michael Mavris, a fifth grader from Mary Peacock Elementary School in Crescent City, California, Mr. Hoffman’s district. How fitting that he is here tonight? He, too, is from Six Rivers.
In his winning essay, he wrote about the ‘indomitable spirit’ of the land and its indigenous people. And he beautifully captured how this is reflected in the glorious tree before us. He has asked that before he writes – lights the tree, that he shares some of the words of his winning essay with you.
So, please welcome our very important person, Michael Mavris, to the podium.
Speaker Pelosi. Now, Michael, now is the time when I invite all of the California delegation – and our distinguished speakers who we’ve heard from – but all of them to join in the countdown. And Michael is going to be switching – now you know how to do this, right?
Michael Mavris. Yes.
Speaker Pelosi. Okay, you push it up. Okay. Now again, I invite the California – now we’re counting from five.
All. Five, four, three, two one.
Speaker Pelosi. Michael.
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