Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 23, 2014

12 Days of Christmas Spirit

By David Hotle | Dec 07, 2012
Deb Simmering decorates the Washington County Courthouse tree with ornaments dedicated to past or present members of the armed forces.

As people pass by the Christmas tree situated on the second floor of the Washington County Courthouse, employees hope people stop to think about those who are serving our country far away from home and their families over the holidays.
On Wednesday, Marcy Stout, clerk at the Washington County Treasurer’s office and real estate clerk Deb Simmering got together and put up the tree. Each decoration they added to the limbs contained the picture of someone either now serving in the military or a veteran. Simmering said the tradition started about five years ago when former assessor Lil Perry had the idea to honor veterans at Christmas time.
Julie Lindner-Reid, personnel clerk at the Washington County Auditor’s Office, can trace her family’s military history back through the Revolutionary War. Growing up, her father was a 33-year Marine and she lived on bases throughout the world. Her own military experience includes the Navy and the Air Force, where she was stationed in England and Italy.
“It was always a big thing in my family, so it is kind of like a little bit of home,” she said.
Simmering said that this is the first year she had helped put the tree up. She said that people are welcome to bring in their pictures of veterans to display on the tree.
“There were people who submitted photos to us and we are still trying to collect some more,” Simmering said. “I just got into the book that the Cuddebacks did and I would like to somehow get them incorporated into the tree.”
Right now, about 40 decorations honor people who have served in the military.
Stout said that with several pets who enjoy climbing, she is unable to have a tree at home, so she likes the big Christmas tree in the lobby.
“They are not with their families or with the people they love,” Stout said of the people serving who are honored on the tree. “They don’t get to do what their tradition would be while they are serving.”
The tree will be up for the month of December.
Anyone with a story they feel should be featured in the 12 Days of Christmas feature is encouraged to call the Washington Evening Journal newsroom at 653-2191.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Dec 10, 2012 12:36

My birthday is on January 6th. For many years I hated having my birthday in one of the coldest and bleakest months of the year. It is after Christmas Day and New Years Day. Everyone has given their gifts and are done with celebrating. I felt forgotten on my birthday and somehow cheated. I thought that at least I could have been born five days sooner and been a New Years baby.
Then a few years ago, I had an an epiphany on January 6th. The Feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ is celebrated on January 6th. It is one of the oldest Christian feasts, though, throughout the centuries, it has celebrated a variety of things. Epiphany comes from a Greek verb meaning "to reveal," and all of the various events celebrated by the Feast of the Epiphany are revelations of Christ to man. January 6th is also the 12th day of Christmas and the end of the Christmas season.
On January 6th of each year the Church celebrates the Epiphany of the Lord, the arrival of the Magi to the Infant Jesus. But that is the merely the first of three epiphany moments, which are all equally remembered in the Traditional Liturgy on the Feast of the Epiphany. It is on one of the three primary manifestations of Christ, namely the Miracle in Cana and the manifestation of the Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan, at which God the Father calls out from Heaven: "This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." At Cana, Jesus and his disciples are invited to a wedding and when the wine runs out Jesus turns water into wine by performing a miracle. January 6th is a good day to celebrate. It is also a good day to stop and remember those who are serving our country and to say a prayer for them.



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