A Remembrance Tree for Hugh Harp's father was stolen from Besse Park in Wareham earlier this week, but what Harp wants from the thief is pretty simple.

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, a Grinch crept into Besse Park in Wareham and stole a completely decorated tree that had been dedicated to a pair of Navy veterans. Certainly not the Christmas spirit the Remembrance Trees were created to spread, but the victim isn't letting the theft ruin his holiday plan.

"I was coming down here every day 'til after Christmas, 'til the trees are gone, to say hi to my dad," Harp said. "And I just drove by and I was like, 'Wait a minute.' So when I parked, I looked in my rearview mirror and I didn't see the tree."

When Harp realized his tree wasn't where it had been the day before, he talked to nearby electrical workers who informed him the tree had in fact been taken. It was the only tree at the park removed from the ground.

As to why his tree was targeted, Harp says, "I have no idea."

Harp's tree was one of many in an area of the Remembrance Trees dedicated to veterans. He had decorated the tree with garland and ornaments but also with American flags and several laminated photos of the people the tree was honoring, his father James Harp and his girlfriend's mother, Mary Catrambone, both Navy veterans.

Though it remains anybody's guess as to why this tree was singled out and removed, Harp says he thought "maybe a couple people partying too much wanted to take a tree and party somewhere."

But he actually doesn't want the person or people responsible to bring his tree back. Harp informed us that all he's looking for is an apology.

"Just send an apology, you know, that's it. That's all I want," he said. "There's nothing else that's going to make it any better. A simple apology makes it a whole lot better."

The town has replaced Harp's tree for him and after a few additional hours of work it has been decorated once again. Town officials also informed Harp that they had added extra security measures to the grounding of the tree, making it virtually impossible to steal again.

Harp said he hopes the thief feels remorse for what they have done and says he can be reached by text at 508-269-1566 for that apology.

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