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Shelly Angers, N.H. Department of Cultural Resources
Twitter: @NHCulture

Leonard Stuart, N.H. Veterans Home
Twitter: @NHVetHome

NOTE: Images of the ornaments and ornament making are available online.

Veterans Home residents, Tilton School students team up to create NH’s official ornaments for
National Christmas Tree display

New Hampshire Veterans Home residents have partnered with Tilton School students to create ornaments for the New Hampshire tree that will be part of the “Pathway of Peace” National Christmas Tree display in Washington, D.C., throughout December 2014.

The residents and students will travel to Concord for the Dec. 3 Governor and Council meeting, where they will be recognized for their work representing New Hampshire.

Fifty-six trees, one for each state, U.S. territory and the District of Columbia, will surround the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse, located on the National Mall between the White House and the Washington Monument. Called the “Pathway of Peace,” it is one of the highlights of the annual holiday display.

Veterans and students worked in pairs on the ornaments, which represent New Hampshire’s natural beauty and history. Each ornament is one of a kind. Designs incorporate wildlife, pine trees and pine cones, the Cog Railway, snow, mountains, autumn leaves, abstract designs, fishing, the Old Man of the Mountain, and our state’s motto, “Live Free or Die.”

Presented by the National Park Foundation and the National Park Service, the 2014 National Christmas Tree Lighting is scheduled for Dec. 4, 2014, kicking off four weeks of holiday events.

“The collaboration between our veterans and students on this cherished national tradition represents the ‘all-hands-on-deck’ spirit of our people,” said Gov. Maggie Hassan. “These ornaments demonstrate our rich history and awe-inspiring natural beauty, and Granite Staters everywhere are proud of their hard work to create ornaments that are quintessentially New Hampshire.”

In 1856, New Hampshire’s Franklin Pierce, fourteenth president of the United States, became the first president to place a Christmas tree in the White House.

The National Christmas Tree Lighting began on Christmas Eve in 1923, when President Calvin Coolidge lit a Christmas tree in front of 3,000 spectators on the Ellipse. Since then, each succeeding President has carried on the tradition of what now has become a month-long event presented by the National Park Foundation and National Park Service.




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