100 years ago a deadly explosion lead to a Christmas tradition between the cities of Boston and Halifax. Kindness truly knows no boundaries.

Halifax, Nova Scotia, along Canada’s eastern coast, was a port city that during the ongoing efforts of World War One was vital to the Allied campaigns overseas. Through the Halifax Harbour tens of thousands of troops set sail for the war’s front lines, along with munitions and supply ships that would make up the transatlantic convoys necessary to the Allied’s European missions.

One hundred years ago, at 9:06 am on December 6, 1917, Halifax and its 50,000 residents were rocked by a massive explosion when a munitions ship collided with a a supply vessel in the city’s harbor. With over 1,200 buildings obliterated by the blast, Halifax instantaneously became a scene of destruction, chaos and death. In the aftermath, a wave of relief help was delivered to the city’s residents, thousands of whom were left homeless.

The state of Massachusetts and the city of Boston stepped up with medical assistance and supplies. Because of this generosity extended by one city to another, every year Halifax gifts Boston with a Christmas tree as a thank you.

Story by Jay Moon