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MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- The 2012 Capitol Christmas tree arrived on the west lawn this morning after spending the night at McConnell Air Force Base, Kans., Nov. 16, 2012, on its way from Colorado.
The Capitol Christmas tree has been a tradition since 1964 when a live tree was planted on the west lawn of the Capitol. The Department of Agriculture Forest Service began providing trees in 1969.
Each year a tree is harvested from a different national forest and 2012 marks the third time that Colorado has provided a tree.
This year's tree came from the Blanco Ranger District of the White River National Forest near Meeker, Colo., and makes its journey after 74 years in the forest.
"I hope everybody can enjoy the tree," said Paul Krisanicks, U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officer. "It's been wonderful, seeing the turnout with the stops we've been making."
While the tree was on base, Airmen and visitors had the opportunity to sign the banner surrounding the trailer that will then be hung on display with the tree.
"I wanted my daughter to be able to see the tree that is going to be displayed in front of the Capitol," said Staff Sgt. Megan Hay, 22nd Medical Operations Squadron medical technician. "I didn't realize how big it was, it's really neat to be able to see it like this."
After the night stay at McConnell, the crew and tree continued on their eastbound journey to the Capitol arriving at Andrews AFB, Md. Sunday.
Speaker of the House John Boehner will officially light the more than 70-feet tall tree during the tree lighting ceremony Dec. 4. Following the ceremony, the tree will be lit from dusk to 11 p.m. each evening through Dec. 26.