If a Christmas tree on a beach seems odd and out of place, you never lived year round in a shore town. This tradition has gone on awhile on the beaches of Ocean City. Having once lived there and knowing what their winter feels like it makes perfect sense. It’s part cozy yet part lonely. So anything that gives people a sense of comfort or togetherness during the winter months in a shore town is a good thing.

Sue McElwee is the woman responsible for the North Street tree the past couple years. This year she took it down on Monday. She felt the emptiness. So the next day, Tuesday, she and her kids marched back down to that beach with buckets of shells and went to work creating a giant peace sign in the sand.

Roughly 15 by 13 feet, the peace symbol is an interactive work of art with sharpies stuck in the sand and an invitation for folks to draw their innermost hopes and prayers.

The following day, the insurrection at the United States Capitol happened.

By that evening, people streamed onto the beach to find the peace symbol and they wrote their prayers and their hopes for better times. “God bless a United America” read one of the more straightforward ones.

McElwee told NJ.com, “I think people are looking for peace, hoping for peace.”

With an inauguration of a new president next week and a new year begun, I think she’s right. Let’s hope we find some.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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