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Family places tree in honor of son

By Erin O'Connor

Staff Writer

AGAWAM "I wanted to get a Christmas tree for my son who is in Iraq," Kathy Rose said while explaining the meaning of the 25 ft. blue spruce in her and her husband John's front yard on 139 Poplar Street. The tree has a sign that reads "The Holiday Tree of Honor."

The Rose's son, Sgt. David Rose, left three months ago on an 18-month tour in Iraq.

"This event has brought something to our attention," Kathy said. "We as a country still have many of our family members and friends serving our country and in harm's way and we need to continue to show our support."

The Roses invite families and friends of the military from past to present to stop by and they will place their special someone's name on a card attached to a yellow ribbon (which they will provide).

The top of the tree bears the names of approximately 150 troops from New England that have been killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"There are 150-200 ribbon names of people who are presently in service or who served in World War II or in the Korean War," Kathy said.

An official lighting of the tree took place at the end of November and at that time items were collected to mail to troops in Iraq. "Our son has always loved the holidays, having family and friends around," Kathy said. "This holiday season is dedicated to our son and all the men and women of our armed forces who put their lives on the line everyday."

Richy's Tree Service donated the tree to the Roses.