There have been a number of stirring tributes from across the nation to the 26 shooting victims of Newtown Conn.’s Sandy Hook School, from college basketball players wearing Sandy Hook jerseys to the powerful Dec. 17 opening of TV’s “The Voice” to the tune of contestants and judges alike performing Leonard Cohen’s powerful “Hallelujah.”
Yet few exhibits anywhere are more striking than one now adorning a portion of Rockport, where resident Greg Wilkinson and some of his neighbors, with help from local businesses and others, have installed 26 small, lighted Christmas trees along the coastal rocks off Marmion Way and Gully Point — one for each of the 20 children and 6 school staffers killed in the Dec. 14 Connecticut school massacre.
Indeed, the exhibit by Wilkinson and his colleagues carries an important message: that all of those touched by the Newtown tragedy are in all of our hearts and prayers as we carry out this Christmas and holiday season, and that their spirit has truly been as much a part of this holiday season as much as, well, a Christmas tree.
It’s worth noting that, once Wilkinson conceived of the idea, he had a lot of help in carrying it out. That not only came from local friends and neighbors, but from alumni from his sailing team at Boston College, where he serves as coach, and from area businesses, with sand, buckets and other materials provided by owner Jay Smith’s Ace Hardware and fishing line for holding the trees together provided by Fisherman’s Outfitter of Gloucester.
That makes this a true community project — and one that does the community proud, as well.
Wilkinson and all connected with this project deserve a round of thanks for a job well done.