As reported earlier, Palmyra husband and wife Lin Ly and Kimleang Sour recently donated the thirty foot Colorado blue spruce that had sat in their Forge Road front yard since 2003 to the nation. Now, it looms over the Ellipse, just in front of the White House, as the National Christmas Tree.

The tree was officially lit on the evening of Dec. 5 at a ceremony hosted by President and First Lady Donald and Melania Trump.

President Donald Trump recognizes attendees at the Dec. 5 tree lighting ceremony held on the Ellipse. First Lady Melania Trump carried out the ceremonial duty of “lighting” the tree. (Official White House Photo)
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The President’s remarks at the lighting event are viewable here. President Trump noted at the ceremony that the first National Christmas Tree was lit in 1923 by President Calvin Coolidge.

The Ly family was present as invited guests of the National Park Service and were given a White House tour earlier in the day.

The Ly family before the National Christmas Tree in Washington. L to R: Pheng Ly, Kimleang Sour, Lin Ly, Tia Ly, Kimlay Ly. (Provided photo)
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Also attending were a group of neighbors and former owners of the tree whose enthusiasm so impressed NPS employees that they were dubbed “Team Palmyra.”

The Ly family after their White House tour. (Provided photo)

The popularity of the National Christmas Tree is undeniable. It even has its own Twitter account with thousands of followers.

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The previous tree was planted in 2012 and likely would have lived to see many more holiday seasons, had it not been damaged by storms and vandalism. So with a little luck, Palmyra’s contribution to the nation’s Christmas observance should be on display for many years to come.

Here’s wishing it a long and healthy life.

White House Guest List
The official White House guest list for the Ly family and “Team Palmyra.” (Provided photo)
The National Christmas Tree was lit at a Dec. 5 ceremony. The tree occupies a spot on the Ellipse, a National Park directly in front of the White House. (Official White House Photo)
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