Story and photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Marissa Beasley, FLEACT Yokosuka Public Affairs
Fleet Activities (FLEACT), Yokosuka held its annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony in front of the commissary, Dec. 3.
This tradition is an event the children and families of Yokosuka base look forward to each year, to boost morale and celebrate the holiday season.
“This is the second year that I have coordinated this event, and we had a lot more people attend because the weather was more tolerable than last year,” said Josh Henshaw, Morale Welfare and Recreation Teen and Youth Coordinator.
On bases in the states, people have more access to holiday events and traditions so here we try to re-create the same kind of experience.”
To make the night extra special, the school age children of the Child Development Center on base performed Christmas Carols for the families in attendance.
“I am glad that my daughters not only get good after school care, but I am happy they have the opportunity to participate in extra- curricular activities such as performing carols during the holiday,” said Yeoman 1st Class April Jackson, Leading Petty Officer of administration at FLEACT, Yokosuka.
Providing children with the chance to contribute to making their holiday traditions special makes me really appreciate all that the CDC has to offer.”
At the conclusion of caroling, Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Capt. David Glennister spoke about the history and meaning of the Christmas tree.
“The Christmas tree is a universal symbol of good faith, and good hope it goes beyond Christianity, and that is why it is one of my favorite symbols. It’s a symbol that no matter how tough situations become, [circumstances] will always get better. It’s a symbol that we all share something in common,” said Glennister.
The last guest to attend was Santa and Mrs. Claus. As they mounted the decorated sleigh, children gathered around in preparation to push the coveted button that would light the Christmas tree.
After a small count down, the button was pushed and children cheered at the lights shined brightly bringing the Christmas tradition to a successful end.