Veterans

April 30, 2012

Arlington National Cemetery plants saplings to honor troops

Tags:
by Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service
DOD photograph by Terri Mon Cronk
Left to Right: American Forests Chief Executive Officer Scott Sheen, Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment, and cemetery arborist Stephen Van Hoven place soil around a ribbon-laden sapling at the end of an Arbor Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, April 27, 2012.

In honor of Arbor Day and to pay respects to U.S. service members, officials planted five oak tree saplings at Arlington National Cemetery April 27.

The saplings were grown from acorns taken from the renowned “Arlington Oak,” a 220-year-old tree that was felled by Hurricane Irene in August 2011. The old oak tree stood in the area of the cemetery’s Kennedy family burial site. Several years ago, the nonprofit American Forests organization collected acorns from the old oak and grew the saplings.

Three of the saplings were planted near the Kennedy family gravesite. Of the remaining two saplings, one was planted in section 26, near the old amphitheater and the other in section 36, near Custis Walk.

Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment, tells attendees at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia that sapling planting is “an opportunity to re-establish a lost national landmark with its very own offspring,” during an Arbor Day ceremony, April 27, 2012.

“On this ground we have the opportunity to re-establish a lost national landmark with its very own offspring,” said keynote speaker Katherine Hammack, the assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment. “We can do this because Arlington National Cemetery and American Forests had foresight. They collected acorns from that landmark tree next to President [John F.] Kennedy’s gravesite to prepare for an inevitable future.”

Cemetery historian Tom Sherlock said when President Kennedy visited Arlington House in the spring of 1963, the Arlington oak was prominent in his view as he looked down upon Washington, D.C.

Kennedy said he was taken with the “magnificent” view, Sherlock said, noting the president also remarked that he “could stay there forever.” That area near the tree was later chosen as Kennedy’s burial site.

Today, a single oak sapling where the old tree once stood also represents a tribute to U.S. service members, Hammack said.

“When we were planning today’s ceremony, the 1973 song, ‘Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Old Oak Tree’ came to mind,” she said. “We have lost the old oak tree of a 220-year legacy, but we have an opportunity to tie a yellow ribbon around the young oak tree.”

Arlington cemetery’s saplings, Hammack said, remind Americans “of those men and women who are serving in harm’s way” to protect the nation.

“On behalf of a grateful nation and the U.S. Army, this serves as a welcome home to all service men and women,” she said.

Hammack then tied a yellow ribbon around the young tree.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Soldier missing from World War II accounted for

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced Sept. 10 that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing since World War II, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors. Army Pfc. Bernard Gavrin of Brooklyn, New York, was buried Sept. 12, in Arlington National Cemetery. On...
 
 
Army photograph by SSgt. Bernardo Fuller

Two Vietnam War Soldiers receive Medal of Honor

Army photograph by SSgt. Bernardo Fuller President Barack Obama bestows the Medal of Honor to retired Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. Adkins in the East Room of the White House, Sept. 15, 2014. Adkins distinguished himself during 3...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

Two Vietnam War Soldiers, one from Civil War to receive Medal of Honor

U.S. Army graphic Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. Adkins and former Spc. 4 Donald P. Sloat will receive the Medal of Honor for actions in Vietnam. The White House announced Aug. 26 that Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. A...
 

 

Reunions

Sept. 7-9 603rd AC&W Radar Sqdn (Germany, 1960-1966) Kansas City, Mo. For more information, contact Roger Kirby at 417) 358-3654 or email rakmak@sbcglobal.net. Sept. 9-14 58th Ftr Assn (58th & 474th, WWII-2014) Norfolk, Va. For more information, contact Jean Kupferer at (812) 945-7649 or email jkupferer@twc.com. Sept. 10-15 Army Air Corps Pilot Classes of WWII...
 
 

VA outlines actions taken to improve access to care, implement IG recommendations from

The Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General Aug. 26 released the final report of its review of systemic issues with patient scheduling and access issues at the Phoenix VA Health Care System. VA concurred with the recommendations in the final report and, in many cases, has already implemented action plans and made improvements...
 
 

HUD, VA, USICH announce 33 percent drop in veteran homelessness since 2010

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness Aug. 26released a new national estimate of veteran homelessness in the United States. Data collected during the annual Point-in-Time Count conducted in January 2014 shows there were 49,933 homeless veterans in America, a decline of 33...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>