The Detroit Arsenal ushered in the Holiday season with a tank lighting ceremony Dec. 3 at 10 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.

Command Chaplain Lt. Col. Scott Koeman began the ceremony with a prayer of thanks and peace for this season of light. He stated that we use lights to celebrate and as a sign of peace.

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

Maj. Gen. Daniel Mitchell, commanding general of the Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, addressed the crowd with a message friendship and unity.

"We're continuing a tradition that we started last year by putting holiday lights on our military vehicle to help promote awareness of our mission to support the readiness of the Army within our community," stated Mitchell. "The lights we use today symbolize the bright future we see for America and light of peace we all hope for."

The children assisted Maj. Gen. Mitchell with lighting up the tank by pressing down on a novelty plunger.

Near the end of the ceremony, a special guest stopped by to the delight of the children and adults alike. Santa Claus gave the reindeer a day off and arrived via the Detroit Arsenal fire truck to visit with the children and spread holiday cheer.