Earlier this month, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) honored veterans and active military personnel during its annual Christmas Tree Ceremony. The event marked the 17th year that the VVMF has honored courageous American military personnel during the holidays, and was held at The Wall. The public event was made possible by a generous donation from David Petraeus, chairman of the KKR Global Institute.
According to the VVMF, “During the ceremony, representatives of VVMF will place a Christmas tree at the apex of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial,” and volunteers dressed the tree with ornaments hand-made by schoolchildren from around the country. The annual event is a chance to celebrate the dignity of those whose lives were lost during the Vietnam War, and as a way to continue to honor the men and women who courageously serve in our country’s military forces right now. As Vietnam Veterans Memorial founder Jan Scruggs explains, “The Wall is a sacred place, one where visitors are directly exposed to the most noble American values of duty, honor, courage, and sacrifice,” of the ceremonious backdrop for the event.
The Christmas Tree Ceremony invited retired Lt. General Claude M. Kicklighter, and active duty Chief Master Sgt. Jose A. LugoSantiago to speak at the ceremony, offering a hopeful, proud holiday message to those in attendance. The men were representing the United States Army, and Air Force, respectively. After the men gave their remarks, visitors were free to mingle and look at the tree’s ornaments, many of which were notes and cards written by schoolchildren to active duty military, thanking them for their sacrifices.
The event was a beautiful display of military pride and holiday spirit. Learn more by visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund website.