UNION BEACH, N.J. (December 13, 2012)--An artificial Christmas tree that was found in a gutter in the wake of Superstorm Sandy has become a public rallying point and a symbol of hope for a storm-ravaged New Jersey shore town.
A man who was helping neighbors gut their storm-wrecked homes in Union Beach set up the tree in a vacant lot and then watched in amazement as town residents started decorating it with handmade ornaments, lights, and handwritten messages of hope, defiance and recovery.
The so-called "Tree Of Hope" is one of the few bright spots this holiday season in Union Beach, which is a blue-collar town of mostly full-time residents whose homes sustained massive storm damage.
A bay front house in Union Beach that was cut in half by fierce waves is one of Sandy's defining images.
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