• A child is wide eyed, wondering if Santa is the real deal during the Camp Darby, Italy, community tree-lighting ceremony Dec. 5.

    Italians donate Christmas tree to Camp Darby

    A child is wide eyed, wondering if Santa is the real deal during the Camp Darby, Italy, community tree-lighting ceremony Dec. 5.

  • From left: Col. Raffaele Iubini, Italian base commander, Marco Onori, Pistoia province consular, Sonia Bartolini, Pistoia province consular, Lt. Col. Steven Cade, U.S. Army Garrison Livorno commander and Nicola Risaliti, Pistoia province tourist consular, pose in front of a Christmas tree donated by the Pistoia province to Camp Darby, Italy, Dec. 5. Pistoia has been donating a tree to Camp Darby since the 9-11 terrorist attacks as a gesture of goodwill.

    Italians donate Christmas tree to Camp Darby

    From left: Col. Raffaele Iubini, Italian base commander, Marco Onori, Pistoia province consular, Sonia Bartolini, Pistoia province consular, Lt. Col. Steven Cade, U.S. Army Garrison Livorno commander and Nicola Risaliti, Pistoia province tourist...

  • The McKinney family pulls the switch to illuminate the Camp Darby, Italy, Christmas tree during a lighting ceremony Dec. 5. Sgt. Tony McKinney, assigned to the 497th Transportation Company, returned home on rest and recuperation leave from Iraq to surprise his family at the annual community-wide event.

    Italians donate Christmas tree to Camp Darby

    The McKinney family pulls the switch to illuminate the Camp Darby, Italy, Christmas tree during a lighting ceremony Dec. 5. Sgt. Tony McKinney, assigned to the 497th Transportation Company, returned home on rest and recuperation leave from Iraq to...

LIVORNO, Italy - The traditional Camp Darby Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony was held Dec. 5, in an atmosphere filled with enthusiasm, joy and participation.

Annually, since Christmas 2001, following the attacks of Sept. 11, the silver fir Christmas tree is donated by the province of Pistoia as a sign of friendship and solidarity.

"This year's holiday is particularly pleasing for me because it occurs after an epoch-making event, which represents hope for the future not only for your country, but also for the entire world," said Nicola Risaliti, Pistoia Province tourist consular. "I am referring to the recent elections of Barack Obama as the President of the United States of America."

Lt. Col. Stephen Cade, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Livorno, welcomed guests to the ceremony by wishing them happy holidays, and thanking the Pistoia community for the "gracious donation" and for their long-term friendship.

"We in the American community of Camp Darby are truly blessed to be in this beautiful country, surrounded by our good friends and allies," said Cade. "This tree represents goodwill and we are committed to being worthy of it."

Col. Raffaele Iubini, Camp Darby Italian base commander added: "This tradition is the cement of friendship."

"This time during the holidays," Iubini added, "is particularly special and it brings together our two communities, highlighting, through the children's presence, a sense of peaceful living together, of shared welfare, and innocence (that) is typical of the youngsters."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16