U.S. Army Garrison - Detroit Arsenal, Mich. -- The Detroit Arsenal ushered in the Holiday season with a tank lighting ceremony Dec. 7 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 Rudolph and his reindeer friends.
Staff Sgt. Kiana Wesley, our Religious Affairs NCO, began the ceremony with a prayer of thanks and peace for this season of light. She stated that we light the tanks as a symbol of peace through strength and defense. She prayed for peace in our hearts, nation, and world.
The children from the Detroit Arsenal Child Development Center led the large audience with the Pledge of Allegiance and assisted the Detroit Arsenal Choir with singing "Jingle Bells" and "Here Comes Santa Claus".
Maj. Gen. Darren Werner, commanding general of the Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, welcomed the community to the ceremony. Members from the Macomb County Chamber of Commerce Aerospace and Defense Committee, as well as other distinguished visitors attended the event.
“Today’s tank lighting serves not only to bring us together to celebrate this season, but also to highlight the Detroit Arsenal’s mission of supporting army readiness – wherever that need arises to ensure peace and liberty,” said Werner.
Werner also stated that Dec. 7, marks the commemoration of Pearl Harbor Day. An event that propelled the United States into World War Two, where our nation rose to the challenge of confronting aggression. He closed his remarks with a wish for a safe and happy holiday season.
The children then assisted Werner and Command Sgt. Maj. Kendra St. Helen with lighting up the tank and reindeer 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.