SHAPE celebrates 51st Malmedy Tree Lighting Ceremony

Malmedy Councilman Philippe Royaux speaks to guests during the 51st annual Malmedy Tree Lighting Ceremony at SHAPE. Initially presented to the United States Armed Forces as a token of appreciation after the city’s liberation during World War II, the tree has taken on new meaning as a symbol of SHAPE’s connection to the Belgium community. (NATO Photo by Staff Sergeant Jimmy Pike)
Dec 12, 2018
MONS, Belgium – Civilian, military personnel and families at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) gathered to celebrate one of the headquarters longest standing traditions during the annual Malmedy Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Monday, Dec. 10, 2018.
 
"Today’s Christmas tree lighting signals the beginning of our holiday season, and the closing of another busy but successful year in SHAPE,” said Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Curtis M. Scaparrotti. "As an Alliance, we are part of something special—one of the greatest alliances in history—and the success of this alliance would not be possible without the work that all of you do every day.”
 
Malmedy Councilman Philippe Royaux joined General Scaparrotti in lighting the tree in front of the SHAPE community.
 
This marks the 51st time SHAPE has honoured the tradition since moving from France to Belgium in 1967. Initially presented to the United States Armed Forces as a token of appreciation after the city’s liberation during World War II, the tree has taken on new meaning as a symbol of SHAPE’s connection to the local community.
 
The SHAPE International Band alongside the Canadian Children’s Choir performed Christmas classics for guests. The tree will remain lit through the New Year.
 
Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office
 

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