The Detroit Arsenal ushered in the holiday season with the third annual tank lighting ceremony Dec. 3 at 8:30 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 Koeman began the ceremony with a prayer of thanks for this season of light. He stated that lights inspire hope and strength and gave thanks for our great nation.

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 audience in a number of holiday carols.
Garrison Manager, Joe Moscone thanked everyone for coming to help kick off the 2019 holiday season and thanked all those involved.

"The arsenal likes to do things different. Lighting a tank is very fitting for our installation to be sure," said Moscone.

Maj. Gen. Daniel Mitchell, commanding general of the Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, addressed the crowd with a message reflecting on the importance of relationships.

"The holiday season provides us a great opportunity to connect with our larger communities, spend time with family and friends and build new relationships," stated Mitchell. "I hope all of you have a much deserved break to celebrate your traditions and reflect on the important things in your life."

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.

The tank lighting sponsor People Driven Credit Union also surprised the children in the form of an elf bearing gifts. Dave Sullivan, VP Marketing dressed the part and assisted Santa.

(No federal endorsement intended)