• Text smaller
  • Text bigger

border=0>
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport installing “winter trees” this Christmas season (Courtesy Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

After unceremoniously removing all of its Christmas trees in the middle of the night last year, the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport this season will dispense with any religious symbols and just celebrate “winter.”

A panel that formed after the Port of Seattle Commission removed the airport’s 17 red-ribboned trees, decided the new decorations will feature a grove of birches in Dacron snow, hung with crystals and mirrors to reflect low-energy lights, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.

The port drew international attention last year when its five elected commissioners reacted to a lawsuit threat by a rabbi who wanted to erect a menorah alongside the largest of Christmas trees.

As WND reported, Rabbi Elazar Bogomilsky said, contrary to widespread news reports, that he never intended to have the trees removed. The Jewish leader said he was horrified by the decision, which spurred anti-Semitism and angry accusations. The port returned the trees about a week later after Bogomilsky told officials his organization, the Northwest Friends of Chabad-Lubavitch, a Hasidic Orthodox group, was not going to sue.

This year, however, the port is taking no chances.

“What I was hoping for was something that was cheerful and evocative of the holiday spirit, and as much to do with nature and evergreen trees as they could,” Commissioner Pat Davis told the Seattle paper “We wanted to move forward without something that would get us back into any sort of controversy, and I think it is very creative. I hope the public likes it – it will take a while to get used to.”

border=0>
Officials removed Christmas trees installed last Christmas season at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport after a rabbi asked for a menorah to be displayed (Courtesy Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

The $300,000 airport display – now being assembled in a warehouse – will include foam migrating birds above the birch trees, which will be dusted periodically with non-toxic snowfall to the sound of wind chimes.

The port said it rejected the menorah last year because it didn’t want other religious groups pressing to have their own symbols’ included.

The port commission this year convened a 12-member holiday decorations advisory committee of religious, academic, legal and business leaders. The panel agreed in July to have decorations that would “reflect the Pacific Northwest environment and our diverse community, and convey universal values, such as peace and harmony.”

The installation at the airport is expected to begin Nov. 9.



Related offer:

Get your Christmas-defense kit now!



Previous stories:

The real story of Seattle’s Christmas trees

‘Christmas’ is semantics to Democrat Sen. Murray

GOP’s Hastert at war with Democrat over ‘Christmas’ tree

Has the Gap banned ‘Christmas’?

Christians blast Chicago for ‘Nativity’ movie ban

Restoring Christmas doesn’t redeem Wal-Mart, critics say

McClellan: Bush not comparing Jesus, Santa

Spokesman stands by Jesus-Santa reference

Bush’s Jesus joke: ‘Santa, thanks for coming’

‘Christmas’ trees vs. ‘Holiday’ trees

Bush White House’s Christ-less Christmas

Christmas in America becomes battleground

Rabbis issue worldwide prayer calls

Israeli voices say Olmert too weak

‘Down with America’ rally threatens Rice

Israeli targets in U.S. on heightened alert

Iran soldiers killed in Lebanon transferred to Tehran via Syria

U.S. to give Israel week to complete offensive?

Report: Hamas, Fatah OK unilateral cease-fire

Palestinian terrorists prepare to target U.S.

‘We’ll attack Israel’s international airport’

Violence in Israel caused by ‘gay’ event?

‘Miracles’ amid deadly rocket attacks in Israel

Tel Aviv under rocket alert

Report: Syrians shoot at Israel

Report: Syrians shoot at Israel

Jumblatt: Don’t bomb Beirut

Iran warns Israel of ‘fierce response’

Hezbollah rockets rain on Jewish state

Kidnapped Israeli soldiers separated?

Ex-defense minister: Israel has lost its deterrence

West Bank rocket war is on

Terrorists claim 2nd West Bank rocket attack

Palestinian rockets attack 25 miles from Tel Aviv

Hamas rocket attack ‘act of war’

White House tells rabbis U.S. won’t pressure Israel

Israel drawing agreement for soldier’s release

3rd Israeli kidnapped?

Report: Doctor treated captured Israeli soldier

Global community slams Gaza incursion

Fears grow of 2nd Israeli kidnapping

Terrorists claim to WND: Another Israeli kidnapped

Iran, Syria press Hamas to keep Israeli soldier

Sources: Iran trained Hamas attackers

Iran missile transfer puts most Israelis in range

  • Text smaller
  • Text bigger
Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.