Freedom Tree Lighting Ceremony at Chennault Aviation & Military Museum

A special tree lighting ceremony took place Monday evening at Chennault Aviation & Military Museum.
MONROE -- The Chennault Aviation & Military Museum staff celebrates Veterans Day in a special way Monday.

"It means everything. It brings back old memories and some of them are good and some of them are not too good," says World War II veteran John 'Bubba' Miles as he watches the Freedom Tree Lighting ceremony.

He is one of several World War II veterans and dozens of others to observe the ceremony Monday evening.

"I said holy smokes, ok. I thought they were going to use a candle," says Miles laughing.

For recently retired Airman John Nolan seeing the trees lit with his family is a special moment.

"To come home and to see, this is our day. This is when you meet a World War II veteran and a Korea veteran, a Vietnam veteran. Those things are more special to us than they are to most," says Nolan.

And the trees not only are a patriotic reminder of the holiday season, but they also honor those who have served and even given the ultimate sacrifice.

"Let him be a part of this Christmas tree and we have all branches of the military, all five of them, and so you can come and put him all members of the different branches, they want to be where they served with their friends," says Chennault Aviation & Military Museum Director Nell Calloway.

She says by lighting the trees on Veterans Day, they should serve as a symbol of our freedoms.

"Our veterans are the ones who have fought and died to give us the privilege to celebrate Christmas any way want to, so this is very appropriate that we let them start off this season," says Calloway.

Reminding us that the generations of men and women, like Miles and Nolan, are indeed a brotherhood that has kept our country free.

"Otherwise, you and I wouldn't be talking here now. It would be a different world," says Miles.

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