U.S. Army Garrison - Detroit Arsenal, Mich. -- The Detroit Arsenal ushered in the Holiday season with an inaugural Holiday Tank Lighting ceremony Dec. 4 at 11:00 a.m. here at the Detroit Arsenal.

An M1 Abrams tank located along 11 Mile Road was decorated with holiday lights as well as a holiday tree and reindeer.

Chaplain David Snyder began the ceremony with a prayer of thanks for this season of light. He stated that we use lights to celebrate and as an object lesson in ever-lasting life.

The children from the Detroit Arsenal Child Development Center recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang along with the TACOM Choir and audience in a number of holiday carols.

Garrison Manager, Joseph Moscone thanked everyone for coming to help kick off the 2017 holiday season and thanked all those involved.

"The Arsenal has done this type of thing before, but this year it is the first time we are lighting a tank. Very fitting for our installation to be sure," said Moscone. "Consider this the start of a brand new tradition for us here at the Arsenal."

Maj. Gen. Clark LeMasters, commanding general,Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, donned a Santa hat before addressing the crowd with a message of peace.

"Why lights? It's not about the commercial aspect of Christmas. Think about those lights as those soldiers, civilians and contractors that are around the world and away from their families," stated LeMasters. "Think about what the true meaning of Christmas is. It's about giving, it's about being together.

Near the end of the ceremony, a special guest stopped by to the delight of the children and adults alike. Santa Claus and his elf arrived via the Detroit Arsenal fire truck to visit with the children.