Wednesday, December 9, 2009
10 year old Becky Boucher, a 5th grader at Upper Moreland Intermediate School, who is battling bone cancer, joined Governor Ed Rendell today in lighting the Capitol Christmas tree in Harrisburg.
Governor Rendell called Christmas a season of hope..."a time when all of us dream dreams, not just the children, we think of a world we would like to see, a hope for better times."
Rendell gave special recognition to the men and women in the military whose duties will separate them from their families during the holidays. He noted that 233 Pennsylvanians have been killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan including 46 members of the Pennsylvania National Guard.....that's the highest total of any state's guard contingent.
Rendell asked for those who are doing well to reach out to others who are not: 156 thousand Pennsylvanians have lost their homes to foreclosure over the last 3 to 4 years and another 155,00 are in danger of doing so. He noted that 560,000 state residents are unemployed and 883,000 are without health care. The governor expressed hope that Congress would pass an extension to jobless benefits and approve a health care overhaul to extend coverage to more Americans.
The 21 foot Douglas Fir tree was donated by the Pennsylvania Christmas Tree Growers Association and is decorated with 700 energy-saving C-7 LED lights and more than 300 handmade ornaments donated by more than 50 senior centers.