79-foot Montana Christmas tree lit outside U.S. Capitol

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Andrew Harnik/ AP The 2017 Capitol Christmas Tree is lit on the West Yard of the United States Capitol, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington.

Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017|3:53 p.m.

WASHINGTON– A Christmas tree that was transported more than 3,600 miles (5,793 kilometers) from Montana’s Kootenai National park has been lit on the West Yard of the United States Capitol.

Ridley Brandmayr, an 11-year-old Bozeman boy, lit the 79-foot (24-meter) tree during a ceremony Wednesday evening. The Engelmann Spruce was cut in November and functions 12,500 handmade accessories.

The custom started in 1964 when Speaker of your house John McCormack placed a live Christmas tree on the Capitol lawn. Nowadays, a different National park is chosen each year to offer “The People’s Tree.”

Montana Sen. Jon Tester selected Brandmayr to light the tree since of the young boy’s determination following a cooking area accident in which he lost the fingers on his right-hand man. Tester lost 3 fingers when he was a young boy.

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