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Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012

Ceremony symbolizes start of the season

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Families gathered at the Field of Four Chaplains Dec. 4 for the annual Christmas Tree and Menorah Lighting Ceremony, which symbolizes two faiths’ timeless traditions.

To many, the ceremony communicates the thoughts of hope, peace, joy and life,” said Chaplain (Maj.) Tom Gorrell. “They are (also) reminders to each and every one of us of God’s faithfulness. Our purpose in lighting the menorah and the Christmas tree is to symbolize the start of the holiday season and to reflect on our heritage, our hopes for the future.”

Spc. Ramon Bing from the 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery Regiment, said the ceremony was “very beautiful.” He and his wife came to the ceremony to see their third-grade daughter sing. Three elementary school choirs sang holiday-themed music.

“It’s a blessing just to come see all the kids get together (and) to come see all of the Families come together for a beautiful ceremony.” he said.

It was about bringing everybody together, Bing said.

“And it’s also to pay our respects to not only the Soldiers and Families here, but to remember our Soldiers who are downrange and really just to remember to keep everybody in (our) thoughts,” he said.

Eunice Richardson came to the ceremony with her two children.

“(We) wanted to get into the Christmas spirit with the weather being so perfect,” she said. Her children, she said, were excited to see Santa Claus.

“My daughter said, ‘I just want to give Santa a big hug.’”

Bing said he was surprised to see Santa Claus, who rode in on a fire truck. Now, he said, his daughter has big expectations for Christmas.

“Santa was icing on the cake,” he said.

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