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Lighting Calexico Christmas tree ‘poignant' moment

December 09, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — The City Hall lobby here was filled with holiday cheer and patriotic sentiment as Mayor Victor Carrillo plugged in the extension cord that lighted the Calexico Christmas tree Friday night.

This year the tree was decorated with U.S. flags and red, white and blue ornaments to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the tragedy of Sept. 11 this year.

Carrillo said the camaraderie of this year's lighting ceremony was especially symbolic as, "We as a nation, we as a state, we as a city and, more importantly, we as a people have come together.

"It makes it that much more poignant," he said.

Councilman Gilbert Grijalva told the audience of city staffers and Calexico residents that one positive thing that can be taken from the aftermath of Sept. 11 is "that we've all pulled together."

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Councilman Javier Alatorre used his time at the podium to thank all the staffers for their hard work and time spent decorating City Hall.

Looking around, he said, "You made this possible."

On a lighter note, councilman Frank Montoya wished everyone a safe and sound holiday season.

"Don't do like that song, ‘Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer,' " he warned.

Mayor Pro Tem John Renison spoke last and said, "I could stand here and look at this tree for another hour but … I have to go home."

Before the tree was lighted, Carrillo presented the first-place decorating award to the staffers of the building and planning departments.

The staffers clapped and cheered and humbly accepted their check for $50 —"Which is coming out of your department budget," Carrillo joked.

The department created a window display that features 3- yard high nutcrackers.

After the tree was lighted, city officials and staffers gathered around the tree and joined in a rendition of "Jingle Bells."

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or claverie7@hotmail.com

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