Gold Star Family Tree of Honor at state Capitol honors Colorado fallen service members

DENVER — Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 — Gov. John Hickenlooper joined Maj. Gen. H. Michael Edwards, the Adjutant General of Colorado, military members and families today to light the “Gold Star Family Tree of Honor” at the state Capitol. The tree lighting ceremony honors all Colorado-based service members who have died in combat operations since Sept. 11, 2001.

“This ‘Gold Star Family Tree of Honor’ reminds us of those who have so bravely served our country, but who are not with us today,” Hickenlooper said. “We are continually inspired by our service members’ commitment to our state and nation. This holiday season, and every day throughout the year, we remember and are thankful for the sacrifices these men and women and their families make.”

 The 2013 tree is a 32-foot, 49-year-old subalpine fir harvested at 8,500 feet from the State Trust Land in northern Larimer County. The Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) selectively cuts trees in this area as a part of ongoing efforts to improve forest health due to the recent mountain pine beetle epidemic. This is the third year in a row the CSFS Fort Collins District has harvested a tree for the state Capitol.

 The Department of Personnel and Administration installed the Capitol tree, and it was decorated by the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs.