The American Red Cross in Massachusetts has a long history of helping its neighbors – help that once extended all the way to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1917.
It was Dec. 6, and a cargo ship carrying explosives crashed into another ship – igniting the cargo aboard. The explosion caused a devastating shock wave equivalent to 2,989 tons of TNT. The State of Massachusetts and the Boston Red Cross took action quickly – sending doctors, nurses, medical supplies, funds, cookware and other items to provide relief in Halifax.
The next year, Halifax sent a Christmas tree to Boston as a token of thanks for its immediate support following the disaster. Years later, in 1971, the Christmas tree donation became an annual tradition.
Tonight’s annual tree-lighting ceremony on Boston Common will not only serve as a beacon of holiday cheer, but a reminder of the important of helping those in need.