PHOTOS: U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Cutting

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On Friday, Nov. 1, the U.S. Forest service cut an 88-foot Engelmann Spruce from the Colville National Forest, near Usk, Wash., to serve as this year's U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. A few hundred people attended to see the beginning of a journey the tree, which is the first from Eastern Washington, will take through 11 states before being lit in Washington D.C. on Dec. 4. 

The U.S. Forest Service's Jim Beckwith sets up crane rigging. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • The U.S. Forest Service's Jim Beckwith sets up crane rigging.

U.S. Forest Service employees Alex Jess, center, and Michael Rude hand Jim Beckwith a saw. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • U.S. Forest Service employees Alex Jess, center, and Michael Rude hand Jim Beckwith a saw.

Smokey the Bear, left, hangs out with (left to right) U.S. Forest Service employee Gayne Sears, Chelsea Earls, her 8-year-old daughter Olivia and 5-year-old son Oliver. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • Smokey the Bear, left, hangs out with (left to right) U.S. Forest Service employee Gayne Sears, Chelsea Earls, her 8-year-old daughter Olivia and 5-year-old son Oliver.

Four-year-old Maggie McClure, left, and her brother Connor, 7, eat cookies and drink hot chocolate, as their mother Erin watches. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • Four-year-old Maggie McClure, left, and her brother Connor, 7, eat cookies and drink hot chocolate, as their mother Erin watches.

Goff Daily holds his 9-month-old son Sean. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • Goff Daily holds his 9-month-old son Sean.

Margaret Schmidt, right, shows her husband Dennis a photo. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • Margaret Schmidt, right, shows her husband Dennis a photo.

Kalispel Tribe Cultural Program Assistant Director J.R. Bluff keeps a drum warm. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • Kalispel Tribe Cultural Program Assistant Director J.R. Bluff keeps a drum warm.

Brian Montgomery pours hot water for hot chocolate. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • Brian Montgomery pours hot water for hot chocolate.

Sonia Wirth, left, holding her 20-month-old daughter Sadie, and Stephanie Wirth wait for the tree to be cut. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • Sonia Wirth, left, holding her 20-month-old daughter Sadie, and Stephanie Wirth wait for the tree to be cut.

Nine-year-old Ian Hicks throws a log on a fire. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • Nine-year-old Ian Hicks throws a log on a fire.

U.S. Forest Service employee Ben Curtis, center, reviews some procedures before the tree is cut. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • U.S. Forest Service employee Ben Curtis, center, reviews some procedures before the tree is cut.

Riley Sampson, 6, hugs Woodsy Owl. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • Riley Sampson, 6, hugs Woodsy Owl.

Kalispel Tribe Cultural Program Director Francis Cullooyah speaks before the tree destined to be the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • Kalispel Tribe Cultural Program Director Francis Cullooyah speaks before the tree destined to be the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree.

Members of the Kalispel Tribe perform a flag song and an honor song. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • Members of the Kalispel Tribe perform a flag song and an honor song.

U.S. Forest Service employee John Wirth cuts the 88-foot Engelmann Spruce. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • U.S. Forest Service employee John Wirth cuts the 88-foot Engelmann Spruce.

Members of the media and the general public watch an 88-foot Engelmann Spruce, destined to be the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, as it's cut. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • Members of the media and the general public watch an 88-foot Engelmann Spruce, destined to be the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, as it's cut.

Debbie Lutz, left, and her husband Bob photograph and film during the cutting of an 88-foot Engelmann Spruce, destined to be the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • Debbie Lutz, left, and her husband Bob photograph and film during the cutting of an 88-foot Engelmann Spruce, destined to be the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree.

The tree is lifted by a crane. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • The tree is lifted by a crane.

The 88-foot Engelmann Spruce is lifted by a crane. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • The 88-foot Engelmann Spruce is lifted by a crane.

U.S. Forest Service employee John Wirth cuts the bottom off the tree. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • U.S. Forest Service employee John Wirth cuts the bottom off the tree.

U.S. Forest Service employee Cally Davidson, left, and Pend Oreille County Public Works employee Bernie Nelson place a bag on the base of the tree. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • U.S. Forest Service employee Cally Davidson, left, and Pend Oreille County Public Works employee Bernie Nelson place a bag on the base of the tree.

Workers guide the tree onto a truck. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Workers guide the tree onto a truck.

Workers guide the 88-foot Engelmann Spruce onto a truck. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Workers guide the 88-foot Engelmann Spruce onto a truck.

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