• Military children help Dee Thurman, wife of Gen. James Thurman, commanding general, U.S. Army Forces Command, pull a candy cane lever to light three Christmas trees during Fort McPherson’s tree-lighting ceremony held at The Commons at Fort McPherson Tuesday. The ceremony, which was hosted by Col. Deborah Grays, U.S. Army Garrison commander, and attended by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, served as the official start to the fort’s holiday season.

    Fort McPherson kicks off holiday season

    Military children help Dee Thurman, wife of Gen. James Thurman, commanding general, U.S. Army Forces Command, pull a candy cane lever to light three Christmas trees during Fort McPherson’s tree-lighting ceremony held at The Commons at Fort...

  • Fort McPherson brings festive start to holiday season with Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony.

    Fort McPherson kicks off holiday season

    Fort McPherson brings festive start to holiday season with Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony.

  • Donna Craven, director of religious education, U.S. Army Garrison Chaplain Office, leads members of the audience in a rendition of Aca,!A"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.Aca,!A?

    Fort McPherson kicks off holiday season

    Donna Craven, director of religious education, U.S. Army Garrison Chaplain Office, leads members of the audience in a rendition of Aca,!A"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.Aca,!A?

  • Viktoriya Tikhonova, 10, daughter of Agustin Blanco, a golf keeper at The Commons at Fort McPherson, describes her Christmas wish list to Santa Claus.

    Fort McPherson kicks off holiday season

    Viktoriya Tikhonova, 10, daughter of Agustin Blanco, a golf keeper at The Commons at Fort McPherson, describes her Christmas wish list to Santa Claus.

  • Members of the Fort McPherson holiday choir sing Christmas carols.

    Fort McPherson kicks off holiday season

    Members of the Fort McPherson holiday choir sing Christmas carols.

  • Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed writes holiday well wishes for Tarryanna Hightower (center), 9, and her cousins, Sandrick Winston (right), 10, and Dashana Winston (rear), 11. The girls attended the ceremony with veteran George Bloodsaw, Sandrick and Dashana’s father.

    Fort McPherson kicks off holiday season

    Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed writes holiday well wishes for Tarryanna Hightower (center), 9, and her cousins, Sandrick Winston (right), 10, and Dashana Winston (rear), 11. The girls attended the ceremony with veteran George Bloodsaw, Sandrick and...

With the pull of a lever, the tree lit up and Fort McPherson ushered in the start of its final holiday season.

The tree-lighting ceremony, which took place Tuesday evening at The Commons at Fort McPherson, joins the list of Fort McPherson traditions that will never be seen again. However, although the significance of the larger circumstances surrounding the ceremony was not lost on those in attendance, the occasion was still enjoyed with cheer and spirit.

"I'm glad you have joined me as we continue our holiday tree tradition here at Fort McPherson," said Col. Deborah Grays, U.S. Army Garrison commander. "May the lighting of this Christmas tree encourage us all to embrace the mutual goodwill, understanding and respect for one another; pray it provides an opportunity to focus on what's important and remain resilient."

With carols sung by the Fort McPherson holiday choir, a word of thanks from Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, and a surprise visit from Santa Claus, those in attendance had plenty of reasons to follow Gray's advice.

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