December 14, 1996 in Nation/World

Tree For Children Divides Community


A simple Christmas tree has divided the town of Dunblane, where 16 children and a teacher were gunned down in a school nine months ago.

At first, the local governing council vetoed plans to put a lighted Christmas tree in the graveyard. Then it set up a telephone line to allow residents to air their opinions.

Some residents have accused the relatives of continuing to seek public attention, but some relatives say they don’t want to fight.

“As far as the parents are concerned, the tree was for their children, but if it’s not to be erected there it means nothing,” said John McLaren, whose 5-year-old granddaughter Megan Turner was among the dead.

The council denied reports Friday that it will meet with the victim’s families to discuss the issue.

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