Meet Brigette Harrington, the 9-year-old who helps Paul Ryan to light the Capitol Christmas tree

Meet Brigette Harrington, the 9-year-old who helps Paul Ryan to light the Capitol Christmas tree


She played the violin for an audience at the National Press Club. She has met members of Congress, cabinet workers and rock stars. On Thursday she is standing by House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and she turns the switch to light the Capitol Christmas tree. But Brigette Harrington is not a dignitary or head of state. She is a 9-year-old girl from Oregon.
Brigette Harrington in Washington this week. (Senator Ron Wyden's office) Harrington, who would tell you that she is actually & # 39; 9 and a half & # 39 ;, comes from Hillsboro, near Portland. This is her first time in the district. "It's a bit almost overwhelming," she said Wednesday, blinking with her festive green-and-red suspenders with a broad smile. Brigette was given the opportunity to travel to Washington and light the Capitol tree – a noble pivot from the Oregon Willamette National Forest – during a state-wide competition that asked primary school students to write why they liked the outdoors of the state to hold. It has become a tradition in the Capitol to invite a child from the same state as the tree to help illuminate the symbol of holiday happiness. The writing competition of recent years has served as a way to choose the child. Written in the style of & # 39; A Visit From St. Nicholas & # 39; remembered Brigette's poem to the changing fall colors, winter snow, spring slips and summer days full of adventures. "I've tried to think of some good things to put into the poem, some details and subjects, and I thought of the four seasons and how happy Oregon is, because not everyone does it," she said. "Everything my family has done in the four seasons – picking berries, hiking, kayaking, we do so much, we love the outdoors." On the morning of October she learned that she had won Brigette was on the Jackson Elementary School in class when the governor came in, surrounded by a plethora of cameras and followed by Kim and Scott Harrington, the parents of Brigette, I wish I could start every Monday! Today I surprised the 4th graders Jackson Elementary School to announce the winner of ours @USCapitolTree contest. Congratulations Brigette, and thanks to all the young Oregonians who have submitted essays. I am impressed by all of you! pic.twitter.com/ZFPEVteKv1– Governor Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) October 15, 2018 & # 39; I was a bit suspicious, because it is not every day that the governor walks into your class, & # 39; said Brigette. "At first I thought:" Maybe somebody won here, but I'm probably not – because there were a few other items in my class and it could be one of us. " Kate Brown (D) announced that Brigette's poem had triumphed over 1,200 other entries from the fourth graders in the state. "I cried tears of joy," Brigette said, running tears over her cheeks. Even then, the Harringtons said they had no idea what they were up to: The next two months Brigette toured Oregon, reciting her poem in several towns and villages along a 23-stop tour, following the tree, a noble fir tree. native to the American Northwest, as it was paraded by the state before embarking on the 3,000-mile journey to Washington, the tree arrived in West Lawn on November 26, after which it was decorated with thousands of ornaments, handmade by residents of Oregon. "None of us realized at first that this was not really a tree, that it was so much more", said Kim Harrington, 43. "The most amazing thing for us is seeing how this happiness, happiness and such a connection between all the people who touch it. "It's been a whole week ago. Accompanied by her parents and three grandparents, Brigette has been brought to the gala's and lunches and receptions since she arrived in the district on Saturday. Every sign, program and invitation is addressed to & # 39; Brigette Harrington and guests & # 39 ;, her father grinned. "We just drive around on her shirttails," said Scott Harrington, 43. Brigette has met Chuck Leavell, the keyboardist of the Rolling Stones who has taken on environmental activism; Oregon's two US senators, Jeff Merkley (D) and Ron Wyden (D), US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.). Brigette Heather Harrington from Hillsboro won an essay contest across the state for her poem about what sharing this piece of Oregon with the rest of the country means to her. I was lucky that Brigette presented her poem during this morning's event. pic.twitter.com/ql5dF1jmdY– Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) December 4, 2018 She visited the Capitol Rotunda to pay respect to the late George H.W. Bush, who served as president 20 years before she was born. On Sunday she lost a tooth in the National Museum of American History. "I just ate a crispy rice – and then I swallowed that crispy rice," she said. "The tooth fairy said:" It's good that you've swallowed your tooth, and most children do it anyway. "& # 39; The tradition of the Capitol Christmas Tree, also known as & # 39; 39; The People & # 39; s Tree & # 39 ;, began when house president John W. McCormack (D-Mass.) Placed a living Christmas tree on the Capitol lawn in 1964. Six years later, the architect of the Capitol office asked the American Forest Service to find a Christmas tree in front of the Capitol site, and since then the Forest Service has been looking for a tree from a national park every year .Willamette National Forest, the origin of this year's tree, is a coniferous forest in the Cascade Mountains, which covers more than 1.6 million hectares, the first time a tree from that park can be seen on the Capitol. "We are very proud of that," said Scott Harrington. in Oregon. "Brigette will read an abridged version of her poem, which will take effect after about three minutes, before he helps Ryan (R-Wis.) Thursday to light the tree. "" Twas the month before Christmas, and all the way through my mind / vertebrate thoughts of my Oregon, all intertwined / The four seasons how extraordinary, each unique, "she wrote, saying that she found inspiration all around her – the creek in her backyard, the trees in the woods nearby, the mountains, the ocean, the snow, and the rain. "What does she think of the District of Columbia?" It's great, "she said. & # 39; But everyone who is at home, wants to know if I have met the President, I have not. "