The 73 decorated remembrance trees adorning Wareham's Besse Park are much more than a sign of the Christmas season. They symbolize the individual beauty of lost loved ones, in a creative charity event that has raised $2,440 for The Family Pantry-Damien's Place.

In a goodwill fellowship, Southcoast Health donated the trees, lights, electrical cords and electrical work to provide this holiday spectacular directly across from where construction is underway on Tobey Hospital's new emergency unit. Olson's Garden Center sold the trees at cost and the Wareham Municipal Maintenance Department prepped the site, making it possible for families, businesses and organizations to buy out all the trees for a $25 or more contribution.

As Charles Noyes of West Wareham rewired decorations – loosened by the wind – of laminated family photographs, personal curios and keepsakes, he moved aside to admire the story of Dottie Noyes.

"The tree tells about the life of my amazing mother, who was well known and loved by so many people, whose lives she touched in her 90 years with us," he said.

Phil Paleologos/Townsquare Media
Phil Paleologos/Townsquare Media

For years, Dottie Noyes drove a cab for Del's Taxi and enjoyed transporting special needs children to and from school.

"My wife Lori and I saw the article in the paper (announcing the remembrance trees) and we decided this would be a great way to pay tribute to her memory," Noyes said.

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A short distance down the sidewalk, Marion Rose and her daughter Jennifer, of Onset, pointed to two trees: one honoring her 105-year-old mother and the other celebrating the Oak Grove Cape Verdean Cultural Center.

Phil Paleologos/Townsquare Media
Phil Paleologos/Townsquare Media

"We're renovating the Oak Grove School in Onset that will become our new cultural center that will tell the story of the Cape Verdean people," Rose said. "Our motto is 'Keeping Our Culture Alive.' People need to know their roots and the youth need to know where they come from."

Her mother's tree was nearby.

"This remembrance tree celebrates my mother's 105 years of preserving the Creole or Kriolu language, our traditional foods and music," she said.

Phil Paleologos/Townsquare Media
Phil Paleologos/Townsquare Media

Rose described the Cape Verdean people as very loving and compassionate.

"Like the Hawaiian people, Cape Verdeans are a warm, multi-racial people, whose islands were visited by mariners from around the world," she said.

Daughter Jennifer, holding the tips of the branches of her grandmother's tree, looked lovingly at the personal decorations and said she feels a great pride to be able to pass along all that she was taught about her culture.

The launch of the first-ever Wareham Remembrance Christmas Tree event hopes to become a lasting part of the community's holiday season. The trees' roots are planted in the soil, and hopefully the tradition is firmly rooted as well.

Wareham Remembrance Trees

The 73 decorated remembrance trees adorning Wareham's Besse Park are more than a sign of Christmas. They symbolize the individual beauty of lost loved ones.

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