Since 2006, American Legion Post 200 in Hampstead, Md., has been hanging photos of veterans on its Christmas tree. Auxiliary Unit 200 member Harriet Brown created the idea in effort to personally remember veterans during the holiday season.
In its first year, 40 pictures were collected, placed in handmade patriotic frames and hung on the tree. Sadly, Brown only saw a photo of the tree as she passed away from cancer a few days after it was decorated.
"The framed photos reflect the local military legacy and Harriet's presence as each item is placed on the tree," said Elinore Frush, a Unit 200 member.
A veteran is asked to provide a service picture along with his or her branch, rank and dates of service, to be featured on a foil label placed on the picture frame.
Now in its sixth year, the tree bears 108 framed photos of veterans. "As everyone comes in to the (post's) lounge, they look for their picture or one of a loved one. It's a feature that everyone looks forward to," Frush said.