ELMIRA, NY (WETM) – A Christmas tree, that was put up in memory of loved ones lost to suicide, was vandalized.
The Christmas tree was put up at Eldridge Park in Elmira, by the group Smile Through The Storms, a suicide survivor support group. Group members decorated the tree in angels with the names of their loved ones lost to suicide written on them.
“All of the survivors there we’ve been through our own personal hell of losing a loved one to suicide. The person, or people, that found it necessary within their minds to go through, and destroy something like this… It’s cruel and it’s heartless,” said Deb Maxwell, Founder of Smile Through the Storms.
The tree was only up for a week and a half until it was found vandalized this afternoon. Someone, allegedly, broke the angel ornaments, cut off the lights, and dragged the tree to a nearby river. Members of the group are heartbroken.
Maxwell hopes to get a tree securely planted in Eldridge Park, so that group members and other suicide survivors can always have a place to go, and decorate in the future.