11/6/2013 8:41:00 AM Bradshaw students create ornaments for National Tree
Working to complete the ornaments honoring the 19 firefighters and one survivor from the Yarnell Hill Fire that will hang on the National Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C., are, from left, Tanyka Phetinta, Tryston Burtnett and Anthony Wiley, all advanced art students at Bradshaw Mountain High School.
Trib Photo/Sue Tone
Arizona's only contribution to the National Tree in Washington, D.C., will come from advanced art students at Bradshaw Mountain High School.
All 56 U.S. states, territories and the District of Columbia will display ornaments made for the tree at the 91st National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in the nation's capitol.
BMHS art teacher Helen Dickerson said she received a call from Mary Murphy at the Governor's Office asking if her students would be willing to create 24 ornaments in honor of the fallen 19 firefighters and one survivor from the June 30 Yarnell Hill Fire. It's an honor to do so, Dickerson said.
"We are excited to be a part of the National Christmas Tree display because Prescott is a tight-knit small community. This opportunity has provided our students a way to continue the grieving process. Several of our students knew the firefighters or their families," she said.
Students used the clear plastic balls sent by the National Park Foundation, which organizes the event. Inside the 6-inch balls, the ceramic sculpture and advanced studio art students used the symbolic color purple, which has been used to honor the firefighters. A purple ribbon displays the name of each fallen hero and the one survivor.
"An orange rose symbolizes the flame, but also reminds us that life continues after great tragedy. The violet glitter represents that 'light' will shine bright again," she said.
The exact date of the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be announced in the coming weeks. The event began on Christmas Eve in 1923, when President Calvin Coolidge lit a Christmas tree in front of 3,000 spectators on the Ellipse in President's Park. Since 1923, 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.
Posted: Thursday, November 7, 2013
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On behalf of all of us especially these precious families of our 19 Fallen 20 Heroes The Granite Mountain Hotshots!! THANK YOU SO MUCH and God Bless you all.. Much love and so proud of all you for doing this. What a way to honor our guys. I know the families will absolutely love and appreciate this so much.<3