One of the founding principles of Massachusetts General Hospital (slightly paraphrased here) is that “when in distress, every person becomes our neighbor.”

The hospital put this principle into action on December 6, 1917, after a massive explosion devastated the Canadian city of Halifax.

When the governor of Massachusetts loaded a relief train with supplies and personnel to send to Halifax, Mass General nurses and social workers were included on the relief team and played an invaluable role in helping the city heal.

This act of kindness more than a century ago resonates to this day in the form of a yearly gift—the city of Halifax provides Boston with a Christmas tree each year that is displayed on Boston Common as a symbol of friendship between the two cities. Read more