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.


 
 

 

Remains of U.S. soldier killed in ’53 identified

Lawrence Jock’s surviving relatives in northern New York knew next to nothing about the Army combat veteran who was declared missing in action at the end of the Korean War more than 60 years ago. Now that his remains have been identified and will be brought back to the North Country for burial, his relatives...
 
 
Army photograph by Lisa Ferdinando

President awards Medal of Honor to former Army staff sergeant

Army photograph by Lisa Ferdinando President Barack Obama awards the Medal of Honor to former Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Pitts at the White House, July 21, 2014. Pitts received the nation’s highest military honor for his action...
 
 
Army photograph by Lillian Boyd

Medal of Honor recipient Ryan Pitts inducted into Hall of Heroes

Army photograph by Lillian Boyd Former Staff Sgt. Ryan M. Pitts, Medal of Honor recipient, is inducted into the Hall of Heroes during a Pentagon ceremony, July 22, 2014. Former Staff Sgt. Ryan Pitts was inducted into the Pentag...
 

 
Marine Corps photograph

DOD identifies missing World War II Marine

Marine Corps photograph Marines wounded during the landing on Tarawa in November 1943 are towed out on rubber boats to larger vessels that will take them to base hospitals. The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Sarah Hall-Kirchner

Airman’s remains returned home 62 years after his death

Air Force photograph by SrA. Sarah Hall-Kirchner Members of the Scott Air Force Base Honor Guard transport the remains of Airman 3rd Class Howard Martin during a dignified arrival July 10, 2014, at the Indianapolis Internationa...
 
 

Acting VA secretary outlines problems, actions taken

In testimony before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs July 15, Acting VA Secretary Sloan D. Gibson outlined serious problems regarding access to health care and key actions the department has taken to get veterans off waiting lists and into clinics. “The trust that is the foundation of all we do – the trust of...
 




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>