Christmas Tree Marks 25th Wall Anniversary

Handmade Cards And Letters Sent To Vietnam War Memorial Each year the Vietnam Veterans Memorial holds a ceremony at the Wall to commemorate their fallen brethren whose names are inscribed on the wall, and to celebrate Christmas in their honor. The annual Christmas Tree at the Wall was held this year on a bright sunny winter day, with a cold breeze and blue skies. The annual celebration at the National Mall on the East Knoll was attended by a small crowd, and paid witness to the decorating of the Christmas Tree. The tree was adorned with ornaments that were sent in by school children from across the United States.  Most of the items were handmade, and in addition to ornaments there were cards made by hand.  Students from places as diverse as El Cajon Valley California to Burke Vermont sent in items to place on the tree. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the building of the Vietnam Memorial Wall. “It is certainly a pleasant day, but it would have been held no matter what the weather was,” said VVMF Director of Communications, Lisa Gough.  “And this year we collected over six thousand messages that were sent in,” said Gough. Several people including Navy Captain Eugene Smallwood, Jr addressed the crowd.  Captain Smallwood spoke about his father whose name is on the wall, and who was killed in Vietnam. “My dad always said Santa was in a hurry as he had to go to all the houses,” said Captain Smallwood.  “We would find some of the milk and the cookies gone and so it was obvious that Santa Claus had already been there,” said Captain Smallwood.

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