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The Berkshires

Veteran lights Pittsfield Christmas tree

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Albany/HV: Veteran lights Pittsfield Christmas tree
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Pittsfield lit up its Christmas tree, marking the start of the holidays. The event also honored a special group of people who should be remembered this season. YNN's Madeleine Rivera has the story.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- "I grew up going to the tree lightings as a kid, you know, and now, I'm the one who gets to push the button."

Carmen Provenzano's excitement is like that of a kid who got just what she wanted on Christmas. But she's a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, where she helped transport medical crews in Afghanistan. She came home last May.

"It's wonderful to be home," Provenzano said.

Especially for the holidays, as she was chosen to light the city's Christmas tree.

"I am extremely humbled and blessed to be asked," she said.

It's a special request from tree donators.

"The folks that donated the tree wanted to remain anonymous. But, they had one request and that request was to have a veteran light the Christmas tree," said Rosanne Frieri, director of the city's veteran services.

The request is symbolic, reminding us to keep in mind those who are still in service.

"We have so many veterans that are deployed. And, it's so important to the community not to forget that we do have soldiers overseas," said Frieri.

Provenzano says she's staying in the Air Force until it's time to retire. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP