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Tree lighting brings together Team Shaw

The holiday tree glows after the Holiday Display Lighting event at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Nov. 29, 2017.

The holiday tree glows after the Holiday Display Lighting event at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Nov. 29, 2017. The annual event featured a holiday tree, Yule log, Nativity scene and menorah to represent various religious traditions and allow Team Shaw members from different faiths to celebrate the winter holidays together. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Destinee Sweeney)

Students from High Hills Elementary School sing holiday songs during a Holiday Display Lighting event in front of the Friendship Chapel at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Nov. 29, 2017.

Students from High Hills Elementary School sing holiday songs during a Holiday Display Lighting event in front of the Friendship Chapel at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Nov. 29, 2017. The students sang renditions of Christmas and Hanukkah songs as part of the winter holiday kick-off. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Destinee Sweeney)

U.S. Air Force Col. Daniel Lasica, 20th Fighter Wing commander, flips a switch with members of Cub Scout Troop 320 and Girl Scout Troop 1829 during a Holiday Display Lighting event in front of the Friendship Chapel at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Nov. 29, 2017.

U.S. Air Force Col. Daniel Lasica, 20th Fighter Wing commander, flips a switch with members of Cub Scout Troop 320 and Girl Scout Troop 1829 during a Holiday Display Lighting event in front of the Friendship Chapel at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Nov. 29, 2017. The annual event brings Team Shaw members together to kick-off the winter holiday season. (U.S. Airman 1st Class Destinee Sweeney)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- Team Shaw members gathered at the Friendship Chapel for the annual Holiday Display Lighting, Nov. 29.

The 20th Fighter Wing Chaplain Corps hosted the event to bring the community together to learn more about each other’s traditions and kick-off the winter holiday season.

“I think this event pulls us together and even though you may not be able to go home to your family for the holidays, you understand that we’re here at Shaw together and we’re an Air Force family,” said Senior Airman Stephanie Nakoneczny-Wood, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management journeyman and event attendee.

The ceremony included a holiday tree lighting, Yule log lighting, menorah lighting and a Nativity scene display.

In addition to the lighting ceremony, an interfaith religious ceremony brought together representatives from Wicca, Judaism, and Western and Eastern Orthodox Christianity, to speak about their respective holiday traditions.

“I would hope this event enables folks who cannot go home for the holidays to feel a great deal of pride and feel as if they’ve participated in their own religious ritual,” said Chaplain (Capt.) James Finley, 20th FW Chaplain Corps chaplain.

Approximately 350 individuals attended the Holiday Display Lighting. The event presents an opportunity for the base community to celebrate the holidays and share their traditions together, raising morale and unity.