Senator Barrasso: Gift to America

Our state's beautiful Christmas Gift to America was lit Monday evening in Washington DC. (Courtesy Photo)
Our state's beautiful Christmas Gift to America was lit Monday evening in Washington DC. (Courtesy Photo)

From an Op-Ed piece sent to media outlets Wednesday morning from Senator John Barrasso's office:

"People around the Cowboy State say we need more Wyoming in Washington. In Washington, folks can always use a reminder of Wyoming values -- honesty, integrity, independence, and a strong work ethic.

This month, Washington has been treated to a beautiful 67-foot-tall symbol of our state. It is Wyoming’s Christmas gift to America.

For the next four weeks, a Christmas tree from the Bridger-Teton National Forest will stand near the steps of the United States Capitol. This is the first time in our nation’s history that our state will have this honor.

Last night was the official tree-lighting ceremony. Daniel Sitter, a student from Lincoln County, flipped the switch to light the tree. Thousands of Americans and hundreds from Wyoming came to Washington for the event.

Thousands more from across our state, though unable to make the trip to Washington, were crucial to making this project a success. It is because of them that this magnificent tree from Wyoming will shine on the Capitol lawn during this Christmas season.

For the past three years, people all around Wyoming committed their time and effort on behalf of this project. From the time the tree was selected in the forest until it was finally lighted in Washington, thousands of residents across our state did all they could do to make it a shining success.

I want to thank the people of Wyoming for this remarkable gift to America. Your efforts brought a lot of smiles to so many people as the tree traveled through Wyoming and ultimately on to Washington.

The tree’s journey around Wyoming was itself historic. The turnout in communities all across the state was remarkable. Children of all ages gathered to celebrate and sign their names on banners that accompanied the tree on its journey.

Thousands of Wyoming residents created over 10,000 ornaments to adorn the tree. Young and old alike did a fantastic job using as much native and recycled material as possible. This season’s Capitol visitors will applaud the work and creativity that is now showcased on the west lawn of the Capitol. Ornaments shaped like boots and cowboy hats, or painted with pictures of wildlife and outdoor scenery truly illustrate the tree’s "Wyoming: Forever West" theme.

This tree is called "The People’s Tree" for a reason. It was selected by you, decorated by you, and privately funded by you. Even the architect of the Capitol -- who every year oversees the Christmas tree event -- declared it one of the finest and best decorated in years.

I would especially like to express my appreciation to the family of Sandra Seaton. She was the Forest Service employee who first identified our "perfect" tree in 2009. She died during open heart surgery last winter. The notes she left behind led Forest Service employees to the secret spot in the Forest. That’s why Wyoming’s tree is now nicknamed "Sandra’s Tree." I would also like to thank all the Forest Service employees who oversaw every step in this process.

While Washington won’t always have such a majestic symbol of Wyoming on the Capitol lawn, you will continue to have a congressional delegation that fights to bring Wyoming to Washington. Thank you for giving us the privilege to represent such a great state and wonderful group of people. Merry Christmas."

John Barrasso is a Republican U.S. senator from Wyoming.

view counter

Good point Zebra

Although this comment does not match the wonderful story about the Christmas tree, I feel compelled to comment on the 9/11 controversy involving Enzi and Barraso:

I have often wondered why victims and family of the 9/11 tragedy were afforded a government settlement. Workers comp, life insurance, pensions, etc, are all available through private and government jobs. It is the responsibility of each individual to make those arrangements. People die in accidents, murders, and from natural causes every day.

Before you call me a traitor, I work for the government and would never expect someone else to take care of my family. For all the underinsured victims, I am all for donating money and providing their survivors with monetary help. Everyone remember how much money from Sheridan alone was sent to NYC after the tragedy?

It is not the government's role to provide money to victims of terrorist attacks. They don't provide it for the military.

I support Barraso and Enzi in "questioning" the bill before congress.


I've already forgot about the Wyoming tree and the hundreds of thousands of U.S. taxpayer dollars to get it there!

please change my what ever from I hear voices to SAY WHAT! hope you can do this for thanks.

Fake Patriot

Just so everyone's aware, this is the same Senator who voted against the helping aid those who were the first responders to the 9/11 disaster and obtained injuries.

In his defense

I believe the reason he is against it at this time is because he want's to know how the $475 million in existing 9/11 compensation and relief program money was spent and there was also a $625 million court settlement. That is $1.1 billion and now somebody wants to give them $7.4 billion more??

wow the wyoming tree looks

wow the wyoming tree looks so beautiful on the capitol yard! wyoming residents should be happy and excited at the same time that they picked a christmas tree from wyoming to travel to washington for this event and it will be a memory that wyoming will hold for a lifetime

Send us a News Tip!

Have a news tip?
Use our anonymous form to let us know.