Annual event kicks off holiday season
December 11, 2013
FORT BENNING, Ga., (Dec. 11, 2013) -- Despite the rain cutting short the annual Christmas Tree and Menorah Lighting Ceremony Dec. 3, Families stayed behind to catch up with Santa.
Guest speakers for the event were Col. Michail S. Huerter, Fort Benning's garrison commander and retired Navy Capt. Neil Block, a Jewish lay leader from Harris County.
Block, who was unable to give his speech because of the weather conditions, said Hannukah is the festival of light of light, which commemorates the time when Jewish patriots took back the Holy Temple from the Greeks. Hannukah is observed for eight days, with each candle lit on the Menorah representing each day.
"This year is the first time for 79,000 more years that Hanukkah and Thanksgiving will occur at the same time," he said. "So it's a festival of liberation … but since it occurs around Christmas time it's taken very seriously by young Jewish kids."
The holidays are a time to remember the many blessings we have received and celebrate those serving in the military -- especially those who are spending the holidays far from those, Huerter said.
Emily Frazier, a military spouse whose daughter was in the choir that sang at the event, said she enjoyed the program. The choir consisted of students from Stowers, Loyd and Wilson Elementary School.
"It really brings everyone together and instills the whole Christmas spirit," she said.