On Tuesday, the town of Manchester turned to a familiar central touchstone—the Friendship Tree at the Town Common—to trigger the first of a nightly ritual of remembrance during these days of COVID-19 coronavirus. The tree was originally donated in 1962 by the Manchester Woman’s Club and is lighted every year in December for the winter holidays to kick off a season of holiday strolling and hot chocolate. Last week, the town reached out to the club to gauge if the tree can be lit every night to mark the community’s commonality and hope.
Sue Thorne sent in the following message: “In these days of the corona virus pandemic, our lives are filled with uncertainty, distress, isolation and tragedy. As a community, we must reach out to family and friends in their times of need. We must be strong. We must have faith in a better tomorrow. We must look to the future with hope and courage.”
With thanks to The First Parish Church, the Manchester Women's Club and the 375th committee, may the re-lighting of our Friendship Tree bring each of us comfort and peace during these trying times.