FORT BRAGG, N.C. - A flame from Bethlehem, spread its message of hope and light to different parts in the world, including Fort Bragg Dec. 1.

Chaplain (Lt. Col.) David Druckenmiller, the chief of staff of religious support operations at Fort Bragg, drove to Maryland to bring back the Peace Light to the Cumberland County area.

The Peace Light made its first appearance of 2010 at the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Dec. 2. More than 60 Families including the 2010 Fort Bragg Family of the Year, 1st Sgt. George Donnelly, his wife, Kristina and their three children; Kyle, 11, Shawn, 8, and Alyson, 5, took turns holding the miners lamp containing the flame. "This is the second year that the flame has spread on the east coast lower than Virginia," said Druckenmiller.

The following Sunday, Druckenmiller shared the Peace Light with four chapels on Fort Bragg. The 82nd Airborne Division Memorial Chapel, Wood Memorial Chapel, John F. Kennedy Memorial Chapel and the Fort Bragg Main Post Chapel each received the light for the Advent Season.

"It's an honor that we have the Peace Light at the (JFK) chapel," said Chaplain (Maj.) Dino J. Besinga, 20th Engineer Battalion chaplain. "It's like having a replica of the one in Bethlehem."
The chaplain also plans to connect with churches off post to share the flame.

The Peace Light from Bethlehem Campaign was originally started in 1989 by the Austrian Broadcasting Company.

Each year a child from Austria fetches the light from the grotto in Bethlehem where Christians believe that Jesus was born. The light is carried in three blast proof miners lamps from Israel to Austria where delegations from across Europe take it back with a message of peace to their own countries. The Peace Light is flown to New York where people across the country take the light back with them to spread to other communities.