Colorado State Capitol Holiday Tree

A formal Army band poses in front of the Christmas tree in the Colorado State Capitol

The “Governor’s own” 101st Army Band poses in front of the 2018 Holiday tree. Photo courtesy of Chris Schutzenberger

A close look at the ornaments on the Christmas tree

The Gold Star Family Event. Photo courtesy of Aaron Fennimore

On November 29, 2018, Colorado Adjutant General, U.S. Air Force Major General Michael Loh presided over the Colorado State Capitol Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony.  With a color guard by the Colorado National Guard and performances by the “Governor’s own” 101st Army Band and the Pine Lane Elementary School Choir, the ceremony and tree are once again dedicated in honor of Colorado’s Gold Star Families.

Since 2001, Colorado’s First Families have chosen to dedicate the Capitol holiday tree in honor of Gold Star Families. This very special tree honors over 100 Colorado military members who have given their lives in defense of our nation since September 11, 2001, as well as their families.

Gold Star families are the immediate relatives of U.S. military members killed in combat or in certain military activities. The term derives from a military service banner first used in World War I, with a blue border surrounding a white field and a gold star for each family member killed in action. 

On the tree and throughout the Capitol, patriotic themed decorations express our gratitude and respect for the service and sacrifice of our fallen military members and their loved ones.

The tree itself is a sub-alpine fir, donated by the Colorado State Forest Services, Fort Collins District, and harvested at 8,500 feet in Larimer County on State Trust Land as part of wildfire mitigation efforts. 

The view of the Christmas tree from the third floor

Media crews with video camera equipment filming the Christmas tree which is as tall as the second floor balcony.

Views of the 2018 Holiday Tree at the Colorado State Capitol. Photos courtesy of Erika Österberg