HAVERHILL, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- The mother of a U.S. Marine arrived home on Friday to find a tree that meant so much to her had been chopped down.
Haverhill resident Suzanne Burke had tied a yellow ribbon to a tree when her 19-year-old son, Lance Corporal Justin Isaac, was deployed to Afghanistan Wednesday.
Burke tells FOX 25 she came home from grocery shopping on Friday to find the tree chopped down. Her yellow ribbon was torn and tossed in a nearby bush.
Burke says she contacted Haverhill City Hall and spoke to a foreman who said the tree was a hazard and needed to be cut down.
"I don't even care about the tree, I care about the ribbon and what it means and that it was disrespected, ripped, and thrown on the ground," says Burke.
Mayor James Fiorentini tells FOX 25 he is also upset by the incident. He says although the tree was on city property and scheduled to be removed after several complaints, the crew that took the tree down should have known what the ribbon meant and returned it to Burke beforehand.
Burke says she is happy that Fiorentini reached out to her after the incident to apologize. She says the mayor offered to give her a Blue Star flag to hang in her window and also offered to replace the tree.
The mayor says he plans to deliver that flag himself sometime this week. He also plans to make sure all city workers understand the importance of these military symbols.