DETROIT ARSENAL, Mich. -- "We're starting a new tradition and all of us here are part of this history," said U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command (LCMC) Commanding General Michael J. Terry as he addressed the crowd of approximately 100 people who braved the cold morning weather on December 11 to witness the first ever Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the Detroit Arsenal.

Alan Parks, Detroit Arsenal Garrison Manager, welcomed the audience and provided a few brief remarks before introducing Terry. "Every day is a chance for me to feel blessed for serving the Army at the Detroit Arsenal in support of all of you," Parks said.

Terry presented a few historical facts about the Christmas tree and shared his thoughts about the significance of having a Christmas tree on the installation. He stated that the first Christmas trees in the U.S. were brought by German settlers in the early 1800s. Christmas trees were first sold in this country in 1851 and in 1853 the first Christmas tree was set up at the White House. Today, nearly 30 million live Christmas trees are sold annually.

Terry pointed out that the tree that was about to be lit was 20 feet tall and came from Holly, Michigan. He noted that it was planted on September 12 and said that "it represents new growth and it represents a new tradition here at the Detroit Arsenal."

The crowd cheered as the tree was lit and then the TACOM LCMC choir performed a few musical selections. Following the ceremony, the scene shifted to a tent that had been set up nearby where everyone warmed themselves and enjoyed cookies and hot chocolate.

Page last updated Fri December 14th, 2012 at 00:00