DENVER (CBS4) – The colorful lights of a special Christmas tree now sitting inside Colorado’s state Capitol came on for the first time on Thursday. The tree is dedicated to Colorado’s Gold Star families.

(credit: CBS)

Each year since Sept. 11, 2001, the holiday tree picked to sit in the Capitol during the holiday season has been dedicated to those families each year. Since 9/11 more than 100 Coloradans have given their lives while serving in the military.

This year’s tree is a sub-alpine fir that was cut down in Larimer County as part of a wildfire mitigation effort.

Adjutant General of Colorado U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael Loh oversaw the lighting ceremony on Thursday, and the Colorado National Guard color guard and 101st Army Band took part.

“Our fallen warriors and their Gold Star families have sacrificed on behalf of our state and nation,” Loh said in a prepared statement. “This beautifully decorated tree symbolizes our heartfelt gratitude for what they gave.”

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