By: 1st. Lt Bryan Weil, Squadron PAO
12/12/2013-Raleigh, NC - On a bitter cold December Thursday evening, the cadets and senior members of the Raleigh Wake Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol provided Honor Guard duties for the annual lighting of the state Christmas tree on the grounds of the state capital.
members and cadets form honor cordon for the Governor and dignitaries at the tree lighting ceremony
As the Civil Air Patrol Honor Guard, led by the North Carolina Wing Commander Col. David E. Crawford, posted their honor cordon on the south plaza of the state house, Governor and Mrs. Pat McCrory accompanied by children the governor’s staff, lit the state Christmas tree, symbolizing the beginning of the holiday season. Live state-wide television coverage broadcast the festivities as they began with the lighting of luminaries and musical performances on the Capitol grounds. After the ceremony, visitors were invited inside the Capitol for an open house to enjoy the many holiday decorations.
Members and Cadets pose
Prior to the ceremony, Governor McCrory posed with the, cadets and senior members who attended the ceremony. Lt. Col Jay Langley, deputy commander of cadets, stated he was proud of the honor given to the cadets, “It provides the cadets an opportunity to show the public the positive impact participation in the Civil Air Patrol can have on the kids.” “Our color guard drills constantly to provide a professional image during the events,” Langley said.
Senior members brave the cold prior to the ceremony
Cadets Pose in front of the recently lit Christmas Tree
In addition to the tree lighting ceremony, the cadet Honor Guard has performed at several flag ceremonies, veteran’s day ceremonies, and a 9/11 tribute this year. Next year, the cadets will be performing at the Durham Bulls game in April. “We have been asked to perform in several events this year, said Lt Col Langley, and I expect that next year we will be given the opportunity to perform in even more events. It’s a true testament to the hard work that these young men and women have done.”
The Col. Poses with another Eagle
Capt. Rich Laviano, commander of the Raleigh Wake squadron offered “I am so pleased of the work Lt. Col Langley and his assistants have done with the cadets. Providing encouragement and opportunities for the cadets to show what they have worked so hard on, keeps them interested in our program and gives them a reason to tell their friends about the great educational opportunities and most importantly, the fun that can be had while participating in the Civil Air Patrol.”
Cadets and Senior Members pose together prior to the ceremony