There is hope for the future, and until then we must continue to follow guidelines and keeping us safe
"It has been an extremely difficult time this year, but I think it's fair to say that there is hope for the future, and until then we must continue to follow guidelines and keeping us safe", said the Deputy to Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR) General Tim Radford during his speech at the ceremony. "Thanks to the effort who was involved in the organisation of this special event, we could have a safe deserved ceremony to maintain alive our tradition", he added.
The Canadian School Choir, who created a magical atmosphere during the ceremony kept the emotion alive through the singing performance of Christmas classics, next to the SHAPE Chaplain, who gave an invocation and Christmas blessing. Santa Claus surprising the children at the ceremony with some presents concluded the ceremony.
The Major of Malmedy Jean Paul Bastin addresses a select live and a large 'online' group of attendees at the annual Malmedy Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the SHAPE Headquarters, in Mons, Belgium on Friday Dec 11, 2020. Photo by OR-8 F. Rosaire, SHAPE photographic section.
DSACEUR Radford and the Mayor of Malmedy Jean Paul Bastin joined together in lighting the tree, as tradition wants in front of the SHAPE HQ building.
"Since 1967 this tradition was kept alive, the first time I came here was 14 years ago, in 2006, time flies", said Jean Paul Bastin. "This tradition never died out and I hope never will. "Malmedy and Shape are separated from a distance of 180 km, we are different in altitudes and in temperature, but we have the same will for Christmas", he added.
The Christmas tree will be illuminated every day until 02 January 2021 from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from dusk until 11 p.m. On Christmas Eve, the lights will remain on until dawn on Christmas morning.
For more information, watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPNfb9Coc9s