FORT COLLINS – The State Capitol Christmas tree, to be lit tomorrow by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper in a ceremony in the North Foyer, was provided for the third year in a row by the Colorado State Forest Service Fort Collins District.
The 32-foot subalpine fir is themed the “Gold Star Tree of Honor” to pay tribute to military members lost in the line of duty since Sept. 11, 2001, as well as their families. Colorado National Guard soldiers and their families will be decorating the State Capitol tree, and decorative boughs trimmed off the tree will be given to Gold Star families or be used by the Colorado Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to craft wreaths for National Guard personnel deployed throughout the world.
Gold Star families are the survivors of fallen service members “who have lost their lives in conflict or in support of certain military operations.”
“It’s our way of giving them a piece of the tree to take home,” said Janelle Darnell, DMVA chief of protocol for the Office of The Adjutant General.
Fresh-cut Christmas trees provided by the CSFS Fort Collins District also will be distributed this week to the Colorado State University President’s Office and other CSU offices. CSFS foresters selectively cut the trees as part of ongoing management efforts to improve forest health on State Trust Land in northern Larimer County.
The Colorado State Forest Service is a service and outreach agency of the Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University. The non-regulatory agency provides landowners with technical forestry assistance and outreach via district offices located throughout Colorado.