New Christmas Tree is a Cooperative Effort to Honor Military Families
Branson, MO, November 8, 2017– A new Christmas tree at Veterans Memorial Gardens celebrates the holidays and the community’s ongoing dedication to veterans and their service. The tree was made possible through the combined efforts of the Branson Christmas Coalition, Branson Veterans Task Force, White River Valley Electric a Touchstone Energy Cooperative, and Veterans Memorial Garden. The 26’ tall, artificial Giant Everest tree has been decorated with blue, gold and silver stars in honor of military families.
“It was the Branson Veterans Task Force who recommended the colored star décor for the tree,” explains Ann McDowell, Executive Director of the Branson Christmas Coalition. “The meaning of the stars for the military and their fit with the Christmas season was the perfect combination for this tree.”
The display of service flags or banners bearing stars by military families originated during World War I and was later expanded to include “any period of war or hostilities.” The term “Blue Star” refers to those who have a family member in active military service. The term “Gold Star” indicates the loss of a family member in military service. A lesser-known practice of using a “Silver Star” indicates a service member that has been disabled in military service.
“It took considerable coordination and cooperation to secure and install this tree,” according to McDowell. “The size and placement in the Gardens was the first hurdle. A crew from White River Valley Electric Cooperative, that even included two veterans, took care of the expert installation.”
The installation crew and members of the Veterans and Military Coalition of the Ozarks finalized the installation on November 2, just in time for the start of the Christmas festivities in Branson as well as Veteran activities this week.
The Branson Christmas Coalition is a non-profit, community organization dedicated to growing and enhancing the holiday season in our region. The group works year-round to engage our community, secure resources, and inspire the creativity necessary to make “Branson: America’s Christmas Tree CityTM.”