New Christmas tree honors military service veterans and families

Just in time for Veterans Day and the kickoff of the Branson Christmas season, a new tree is on display at Veterans Memorial Gardens to honor military servicemen and servicewomen.

The 26-foot artificial Giant Everest tree is covered in over 2,000 LED lights and decorated with 45 large blue, gold, and silver stars, which hold special value to military families. Blue stars traditionally represent a family member currently active in the military, gold stars indicate the loss of a family member while serving, and silver stars recognize a service member disabled while in military service.

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The new display is the result of the combined efforts of the Branson Christmas Coalition, the Branson Veterans Task Force, Veterans Memorial Garden, and White River Valley Electric Cooperative. The tree itself was installed with the help of a White River Valley Electric Cooperative crew — which also included two veterans — and numerous community volunteers.

Veterans Memorial Gardens is located at 1107 W Main St. in Branson, at the intersection of Hwy 76 (the Strip) and Roark Valley Road (the blue route). The tree is listed on the full tour guide to America’s Christmas Tree City, which includes over 150 trees spread throughout 70+ Branson locations.

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