Lighting up the Vogelweh night
By Senior Airman Jimmie D. Pike, 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 02, 2016
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- Airmen, Soldiers, and their families gathered around the base Christmas tree at Vogelweh Military Complex, Germany, Nov. 29, 2016.
More than 40 members of the community came together to witness the lighting of the Vogelweh Christmas tree and observe the beginning of the holiday season on the installation.
“One of the amazing differences in regards to the tree lighting ceremony at Vogelweh this year is that it was the first public event held at the chapel since it had sustained extensive flood damage from a bad rainstorm,” said Capt. Matthew Streett, 86th Airlift Wing chaplain
Attendees walked up a staircase lined with Poinsettias and entered the sanctuary to a musical performance by Five Star Brass, a component of the United States Air Forces in Europe Band, followed by an invocation by Maj. Christopher Underwood, 86th AW chaplain.
After the invocation, more music, and a greeting by Col. Donnette Boyd, 86th AW chaplain, members transitioned outside to the tree in preparation for the lighting ceremony.
“The magic of the event was that it brought everyone together for conversation and fellowship, while experiencing an annual tradition,” said Streett. “These celebrations are still cherished by so many people today.”
Once the lights on the tree were lit and the crowd closed the ceremony by singing, “Silent Night,” the night was all but silent as Santa arrived on a fire truck to visit the families in attendance.
“It’s easy for Christmas to get swallowed up by material aspects that don’t reflect its actual heritage,” said Capt. Matthew Streett, 86th AW Chaplain. “That’s why events like (the tree lighting) are important, they remind us of values of generosity and humility that are bound within the (spiritual) side of Christmas.”