Tree for Our Troops and Veterans was started three years ago by Ann Parlette when a number of young men from the area of Clarksville were serving in Afghanistan. Ann is the grandmother of one of those young men and she had recently read a fictional story about a small town that put up a Christmas tree in honor of their young people in the military and veterans. She was so inspired by that story that she asked the Kendall family if she could put up a tree in front of their store.
The tree in the story Ann read was decorated with military patches and red, white and blue balls. Ann’s tree features yellow ribbons with the names of the active military and veterans, patches, stickers, VFW hats, flags and other military and patriotic items brought to her by neighbors. The American Flag graces the top of her tree.
“Sometimes items are added by local people even after the tree has been lit for the season,” said Ann. “Last year as I was putting away the decorations, I found a star from an American Flag with a message on the back. It said ‘I am part of our American Flag. I have flown over a home in the USA. The sun and winds have caused me to become tattered and torn. Please carry me as a reminder that you are not forgotten.”
The VFW of Ellicott City hosted this year’s tree lighting ceremony on November 18. For more information on the tree, contact Ann Parlette at
410-531-2317 or 301-466-7460 or Kendall Hardware at 410-531-2111.